Fishers caught casting in closed-off area at Wekusko Lake, levied $2k in penalties, fish confiscated

A group of fishers got their rods and catches seized and face over $2,000 in tickets for fishing in a prohibited area of Wekusko Lake late last month.

According to a news release, conservation and park patrol officers in the Snow Lake district on a June 26 aerial patrol found a boat in a prohibited area of Wekusko Lake, with several fishers onboard. The officers were alerted by a tip from a member of the public.

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The part of the lake where the boat was located - Herb Bay, north of the hydro line - is closed to fishers from April 1 to June 30. A walleye spawning ground is located in the area and the area is closed off to allow the fish to spawn without intereference.

"Officers observed a boat with people who appeared to be fishing in the closed area, so they launched a boat patrol," reads the news release.

In the prohibited area, officers found the boat and five people aboard it. The officers seized 17 walleye, five fishing rods, issued restitution notifces for fishing in the area and charged the fishers were charged under Manitoba fishery regulations. In all, the fishers were hit with over $2,000 in penalties - $1,435 in fines and $714 in restitution.

The area where the fishers were caught is now open for fishing - under current provincial rules, the area where the fishers were spotted would have opened for the season less than a week after the boat was found.

Conservation officers have said the 17 fish found in the bust would be "donated to people in the community."

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