Eight La Ronge residents were fined a total of $11,110 after a two-year investigation by the Saskatchewan Environment Ministry into fish and wildlife violations.
According to the province, the case began with tips from the public in 2015 regarding illegal fish marketing. Conservation officers began gathering evidence, and the ministry’s Special Investigation Unit was called in to assist. After a lengthy investigation including three separate operations and undercover work, several individuals were hit with heavy fines and fishing suspensions.
Between August of 2017 and May of 2018, a total of eight people were hit with penalties:
Jordan Charles, 34, was fined $3,000 for illegally marketing fish on multiple occasions. He also received three years’ probation and must complete six presentations in schools on the importance of conservation, environmental protection, and traditional harvesting practices.
La Ronge residents Daniel Ratt, 70, and Nora Charles, 56, also pleaded guilty to illegally marketing fish on multiple occasions and trafficking in wildlife. Ratt was fined $1,510 and Charles was fined $2,700. Both were barred from purchasing a commercial fishing licence for five years.
Jack Bell, a 62-year-old La Ronge resident, was handed a $500 fine after pleading guilty to one count of fish trafficking and one count of aiding and abetting fishing during closed times.
Four other individuals from La Ronge paid a total of $3,400 in fines relating to the case, and were suspended from purchasing angling licences for one year.
"Help from the public is invaluable when it comes to solving cases involving fish and wildlife," the ministry said in a statement. "If you suspect wildlife, fisheries, forestry or environmental violations, please call your local Ministry of Environment office."
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