Friday, January 20, 2012

Four fined for fishing Humber

TORONTO - It’s their turn to be caught on the end of a hook.

Four Toronto men have been fined a combined $2,500 for illegal salmon fishing on the Humber River.

The men were found on Oct. 8, snagging salmon within 25 yards of a dam on the river- an area where fishing is prohibited. Two of them did not have fishing licenses.

Each pleaded guilty to charges under the Fisheries Act and the Ontario Fishery Regulations - Richard Muntyan, Ervin Paczok, and Iles Glosczi were charged $500 each, while Tibor Danyi was charged $1000. Their fishing equipment was also permanently seized.

“The guys were very deliberately trying to catch the fish at the back of the fin to get them in,” said Jay Downer, one of the conservation officers who found the fishers. “They were casting and reeling, casting and reeling, trying to hook them anywhere but the mouth, basically.”

Luckily, they were caught before having any real success.

“We were able to bust them before they caught all of the fish,” said Downer.

Migratory fish like salmon are especially vulnerable, as they travel upstream together to spawn.

“This is something that happens pretty often in the Humber River,” said Bill Laferty, Supervisor of the Aurora Enforcement Unit. “It’s not an every day occurrence, but it does happen, so we try our best to get down there whenever we can to make sure it’s prevented.”

“It comes down to a principle of ethics,” said Downer. “Nobody should be doing this as a commercial enterprise: The idea isn’t to catch as many fish as you can, as quickly as you can.”

Laferty and Downer suggest calling in a tip to 1-877-847-TIPS (7667) if you suspect someone to be fishing illegally.

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