Illegally caught salmon, cod, shellfish and other seafood seized in the Skeena region. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

Fishing, boat checks keep B.C. Conservation Officers busy

B.C. Day weekend peak for recreational angling infractions

B.C. Conservation Officers are being kept busy with summer fishing patrols, including a large seizure of illegally caught fish and seafood.

Among the items seized in a recent enforcement action in the Skeena region were scallops, crab and crab meat, spring salmon, octopus, ling cod, sockeye and herring eggs on kelp. The haul was on its way to Vancouver, Conservation Officer Nicole Caithness said Thursday. One person was arrested and charges are pending.

At Porpoise Bay Provincial Park on the Sunshine Coast, a clam harvester was fined $1,000 for exceeding the limit of 150 clams.

Along Highway 16 in the Omineca region, B.C. Day weekend patrols with Fisheries and Oceans Canada resulted in five violation tickets, seven warnings and the seizure of several set lines.

On lakes and rivers in the Okanagan, there were 62 charges and more than 500 warnings, with another six charges and 12 warnings to anglers on the Squamish and Mamquam Rivers.

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The checkpoint for invasive species contaminated boats near Chilliwack was busy over the long weekend, with nine violations and 13 warnings for drivers hauling boats who failed to stop.

Boat checkpoints around the province have conducted 31,000 inspections as of the end of July, with 810 boats determined at high risk of invasive mussel or weed contamination, and 62 decontamination orders with quarantine issued this season.

There have been 14 mussel-contaminated boats found so far, from Ontario, Utah, Michigan, and North Carolina, destined for Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Okanagan, Kootenays, Skeena and Alaska.

“Remember to clean, drain and dry your watercraft between each water body,” Caithness said. “This is the best preventive measure any watercraft owner can take to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species.

“Clean off all mud and plants from your boat and trailer, drain fully by pulling the plug while transporting and dry off all standing water.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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