A Campbell River angler learned the hard way that the trees have eyes. That lesson cost him $1,500 in Campbell River Provincial court in November.
On Feb. 21, 2019 the angler was fishing the Quinsam River, and happened to hook a wild winter steelhead. He killed it, which is illegal.
Usually there aren’t many people walking the lush trails along the Quinsam River at that time of year. This time there was. And it was a local citizen who knew the fishing regulations and saw the man with the illegally retained steelhead. The citizen phoned the authorities to report the incident.
Shortly thereafter a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) officer and a member of the Conservation Officer Service (COS) met up with the angler.
Not only was the angler in possession of the dead steelhead, he also didn’t have a steelhead conservation stamp and was using a barbed hook. Both of those incidents are illegal as well. He was given a nominal $1 fine for those offences, but was ordered to pay $1,500 to the Oyster River Enhancement Society as part of the mitigation process.
At one time the steelhead run in the Quinsam River had a hatchery component to it. But that is gone and all the steelhead in the Quinsam are now wild, which makes the killing of even one of them of great concern to the angling community.
Officer Gordon Gudbranson of the COS said, “This is a good reminder for anglers to fully understand the fishing regulations where ever they are fishing”.
The spokesman also said the COS and the DFO appreciate members of the general public who report potential wrongdoings. With such a vast, and sometimes remote area to patrol, concerned citizens provide an extra eye from the trees. The phone number for reporting possible infractions is 1-877-952-7277 or click below.