MNR – NEWS – $16,00 total fines for Windsor anglers
Two Windsor area residents were fined $12,000 for illegally possessing overlimits of fish and selling the fish without a licence.
Nicholas Obermok, 63 of Lasalle, and Carmen Rainone, of Windsor, were each fined $6,000. In addition, two vehicles, a boat and trailer, an outboard motor, a fridge and freezer, as well as a large quantity of fishing gear were permanently forfeited to the Crown. Obermok and Rainone are prohibited from fishing in Ontario and cannot possess fishing equipment or sport fish, except at their residence, for the next five years.
Court heard that conservation officers with the Lake Erie Enforcement Unit launched a 16-month investigation after receiving several complaints from the public regarding alleged illegal fishing activities. Between April 25, 2007, and May 9, 2008, conservation officers conducted surveillance of Obermok and Rainone. The pair were observed catching walleye and yellow perch in excess of the limits from the Detroit River and Lake Erie, and then processing the fish and selling it to a fish retail outlet and individuals on at least 16 occasions. On May 15, 2008, officers executed three simultaneous search warrants on two residences in Lasalle and a fish retail outlet in Windsor that led to charges.
In earlier convictions related to this investigation, the Coolwater Fish Ltd. retail outlet in Windsor and an employee of the retail outlet, Gerald Goldhar of Woodslee, were fined a total of $4,500 after pleading guilty in a Windsor court on May 6, 2010.
Justice of the Peace Robert Gay heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on June 15, 2011, and Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman heard the case on the earlier convictions in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on May 6, 2010.
In order to harvest and sell fish in Ontario, a licence is required from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Fish retail outlets must purchase fish for resale from fish processing plants or holders of commercial fishing licences. It is also illegal for anyone to purchase or sell any angler-caught fish.
For further information on fishing regulations, please consult the 2011 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, available at ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres, licence issuers and at ontario.ca/fishing.
To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).