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Convictions and Fines in Two White Sturgeon Cases

February 12, 2008

Thought this was a good read
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Vancouver, B.C. – Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced today that two recreational fishers have been convicted and fined for fishing for white sturgeon with a barbed hook. In two separate incidents, Mr. Andrei Vorozhbit of Surrey and Mr. Mihail Siklodi of Port Coquitlam were each fined $250 in Port Coquitlam provincial court after pleading guilty to failing to comply with the conditions of their tidal water sport fishing licences. The Court also ordered the forfeiture of their fishing gear, worth approximately $350 in each case, and prohibited them from fishing anywhere in British Columbia for one year.

On September 29, 2007, fishery officers observed Mr. Vorozhbit fishing with sturgeon fishing gear in the tidal portion of the Fraser River near Pitt Meadows. Upon further inspection, it was found that he was fishing with a barbed hook. On the same day, Mr. Siklodi was also observed fishing in the tidal portion of the Fraser River near Pitt Meadows, and found to be fishing with sturgeon fishing gear equipped with a barbed hook.

The lower Fraser River population of white sturgeon has been identified as an endangered species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, and DFO has implemented fishing restrictions to protect them. The use of barbed hooks is prohibited because it can lead to the mortality of sturgeon and the decline of the stock. Barbless hooks minimize the injury sustained by the fish through capture and ease in the release of the sturgeon. Fishing for sturgeon in the lower Fraser River is limited to a catch and release fishery. The white sturgeon is the largest, longest-lived freshwater fish species in North America. It can reach a maximum length of over six metres and live for over 100 years.

DFO acts to end illegal fishing activity. As part of this work, the Department is asking the general public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and Regulations. Anyone with information can call the toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336.
 

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Salmonator said:
A $250.00 fine with a year suspension is hardly worthit. With there gear gone (Wal Mart $79.95) still it's not enough of a deterrent. Putting there name up here does more damage. :2cents:
Man, people complain when DFO does nothing, and complain when they do something. It's a good thing, not the best thing, but a good thing. :thumbup:
 

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Well put Proff. They're damned if they do and they're damned if they dont.
Even though it was a small infraction compared to some that have been pushed aside a least. I agree with you Salmonator the embarassment and ridicule that one would face from fellow fishers would seem to out wiegh the fines. Maybe DFO should do a monthly reoprt with convictions and a photo of the party in a general news letter.
Cheers,
Crazy D
 

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I don't know what you guys are complaining about, for a fairly small infraction these guys get a $250 fine and lose their gear (my sturgeon set ups are $400 each including the line) plus the loss of a day of work to show up in court, I think that that would wake me up if it happened to me. As far as their names showing up on this forum, unless their members I doubt that it has any affect on them. I agree with Professori, give DFO a bit of a break they did what they could, better than nothing.
 

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woody said:
I don't know what you guys are complaining about, for a fairly small infraction these guys get a $250 fine and lose their gear (my sturgeon set ups are $400 each including the line) plus the loss of a day of work to show up in court, I think that that would wake me up if it happened to me. As far as their names showing up on this forum, unless their members I doubt that it has any affect on them. I agree with Professori, give DFO a bit of a break they did what they could, better than nothing.
Sure it's great that they do something, but what do you think the costs involved to us by dragging them into court? All for a ticket an the loss of there gear. Tying up a DFO officer in court all day when they should be out on the water ??? . This they could have issued tickets on site, taken the the gear (which I think they would have) and sent a letter suspending there fishing privileges. BC Wildlife Federation put out a magazine and in there there is a section called the wall of shame. It has all kinds of outdoor offenders with there fines and penalties. As for your sturgeon gear sure it cost $400 but these guys can pick up some pretty cheap stuff. Most of this confiscated stuff ends up on the BC Auction government web site and I tell you it's not quality. :peace:
 

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Salmonator said:
woody said:
I don't know what you guys are complaining about, for a fairly small infraction these guys get a $250 fine and lose their gear (my sturgeon set ups are $400 each including the line) plus the loss of a day of work to show up in court, I think that that would wake me up if it happened to me. As far as their names showing up on this forum, unless their members I doubt that it has any affect on them. I agree with Professori, give DFO a bit of a break they did what they could, better than nothing.
Sure it's great that they do something, but what do you think the costs involved to us by dragging them into court? All for a ticket an the loss of there gear. Tying up a DFO officer in court all day when they should be out on the water ??? . This they could have issued tickets on site, taken the the gear (which I think they would have) and sent a letter suspending there fishing privileges. BC Wildlife Federation put out a magazine and in there there is a section called the wall of shame. It has all kinds of outdoor offenders with there fines and penalties. As for your sturgeon gear sure it cost $400 but these guys can pick up some pretty cheap stuff. Most of this confiscated stuff ends up on the BC Auction government web site and I tell you it's not quality. :peace:
I don't see how is this different from any other type of law enforcement. if I get a speeding ticket I can choose to fight it and drag an officer into court for half a day what are the costs involved in that for a $175 ticket. Just like a ticket received from DFO I can choose to fight it and drag that officer into court for the day or just pay it. If we based all of our law enforcement on costs involved we would be living in a lawless society as the cost for keeping the peace far exceeds any amount received for tickets written.
 

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I agree with woody, it is no different than them being caught speeding and who knows the guys that were charged could have just made a mistake, he could just be caught on the only day he has used a barbless hook by accident. DFO did what they should have!
Everyone has the right to defend themselves right or wrong. DFO can't just be the iron fist, we are a democracy and the day someone has the power to enforce rules without question is the day we become a dictatorship. Also though the fine may not sound like a lot to some but there are others that this could cripple. There are families who's $250 for food that week just paid his fine.....the example is a little extreme, but I think the message was sent to those two guys nontheless. I say job well done :thumbup:

If they get caught again...no that is the time to screw the balls to the wall! >:D :2cents:
 

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woody said:
Salmonator said:
woody said:
I don't know what you guys are complaining about, for a fairly small infraction these guys get a $250 fine and lose their gear (my sturgeon set ups are $400 each including the line) plus the loss of a day of work to show up in court, I think that that would wake me up if it happened to me. As far as their names showing up on this forum, unless their members I doubt that it has any affect on them. I agree with Professori, give DFO a bit of a break they did what they could, better than nothing.
Sure it's great that they do something, but what do you think the costs involved to us by dragging them into court? All for a ticket an the loss of there gear. Tying up a DFO officer in court all day when they should be out on the water ??? . This they could have issued tickets on site, taken the the gear (which I think they would have) and sent a letter suspending there fishing privileges. BC Wildlife Federation put out a magazine and in there there is a section called the wall of shame. It has all kinds of outdoor offenders with there fines and penalties. As for your sturgeon gear sure it cost $400 but these guys can pick up some pretty cheap stuff. Most of this confiscated stuff ends up on the BC Auction government web site and I tell you it's not quality. :peace:
I don't see how is this different from any other type of law enforcement. if I get a speeding ticket I can choose to fight it and drag an officer into court for half a day what are the costs involved in that for a $175 ticket. Just like a ticket received from DFO I can choose to fight it and drag that officer into court for the day or just pay it. If we based all of our law enforcement on costs involved we would be living in a lawless society as the cost for keeping the peace far exceeds any amount received for tickets written.
If you read the story they pleaded guilty in court. The way the story reads they did not choose to dispute the ticket like you can a speeding ticket. How may regular police officers do you see compared to DFO officers. So if they are only (just a guess) say they are only 20 DFO officers that work the Fraser Valley it's nice to know that on any given day that so many could be tied up in court with these type of infractions. In no way was saying there should not be any law enforcement, but dragging a guy in to court just because he was fishing with a barb hook is ridiculous. Give the guy a ticket and do what ever else and be on your way. If the courts are going to be tied up because of these infractions while some murder, bank robber, or child molester is going to be out on bail for months because the courts are tied up with this crap.
 

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Salmonator said:
woody said:
Salmonator said:
woody said:
I don't know what you guys are complaining about, for a fairly small infraction these guys get a $250 fine and lose their gear (my sturgeon set ups are $400 each including the line) plus the loss of a day of work to show up in court, I think that that would wake me up if it happened to me. As far as their names showing up on this forum, unless their members I doubt that it has any affect on them. I agree with Professori, give DFO a bit of a break they did what they could, better than nothing.
Sure it's great that they do something, but what do you think the costs involved to us by dragging them into court? All for a ticket an the loss of there gear. Tying up a DFO officer in court all day when they should be out on the water ??? . This they could have issued tickets on site, taken the the gear (which I think they would have) and sent a letter suspending there fishing privileges. BC Wildlife Federation put out a magazine and in there there is a section called the wall of shame. It has all kinds of outdoor offenders with there fines and penalties. As for your sturgeon gear sure it cost $400 but these guys can pick up some pretty cheap stuff. Most of this confiscated stuff ends up on the BC Auction government web site and I tell you it's not quality. :peace:
I don't see how is this different from any other type of law enforcement. if I get a speeding ticket I can choose to fight it and drag an officer into court for half a day what are the costs involved in that for a $175 ticket. Just like a ticket received from DFO I can choose to fight it and drag that officer into court for the day or just pay it. If we based all of our law enforcement on costs involved we would be living in a lawless society as the cost for keeping the peace far exceeds any amount received for tickets written.
If you read the story they pleaded guilty in court. The way the story reads they did not choose to dispute the ticket like you can a speeding ticket. How may regular police officers do you see compared to DFO officers. So if they are only (just a guess) say they are only 20 DFO officers that work the Fraser Valley it's nice to know that on any given day that so many could be tied up in court with these type of infractions. In no way was saying there should not be any law enforcement, but dragging a guy in to court just because he was fishing with a barb hook is ridiculous. Give the guy a ticket and do what ever else and be on your way. If the courts are going to be tied up because of these infractions while some murder, bank robber, or child molester is going to be out on bail for months because the courts are tied up with this crap.
I did read the story, I'm not sure in this instance how the procedure worked as I was not there but when my buddy received a ticket for an infraction from the DFO his choice was to pay it or go to court, he paid it. Maybe these guys took this to court in hopes of the DFO not showing up, which can often happen if you choose to fight a traffic ticket, I can't tell from reading the story anything that led up to there day in court, it does not say whether they received a summons for court on the spot or a ticket. How does DFO respond in this case do they just give a ticket that can be paid or do they give you some kind of demand to appear? Anyone know? My buddies infraction was not having a nontidal tag, is there certain infractions that get you a summons to court and not a ticket?
 

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Salmonator said:
woody said:
Salmonator said:
woody said:
I don't know what you guys are complaining about, for a fairly small infraction these guys get a $250 fine and lose their gear (my sturgeon set ups are $400 each including the line) plus the loss of a day of work to show up in court, I think that that would wake me up if it happened to me. As far as their names showing up on this forum, unless their members I doubt that it has any affect on them. I agree with Professori, give DFO a bit of a break they did what they could, better than nothing.
Sure it's great that they do something, but what do you think the costs involved to us by dragging them into court? All for a ticket an the loss of there gear. Tying up a DFO officer in court all day when they should be out on the water ??? . This they could have issued tickets on site, taken the the gear (which I think they would have) and sent a letter suspending there fishing privileges. BC Wildlife Federation put out a magazine and in there there is a section called the wall of shame. It has all kinds of outdoor offenders with there fines and penalties. As for your sturgeon gear sure it cost $400 but these guys can pick up some pretty cheap stuff. Most of this confiscated stuff ends up on the BC Auction government web site and I tell you it's not quality. :peace:
I don't see how is this different from any other type of law enforcement. if I get a speeding ticket I can choose to fight it and drag an officer into court for half a day what are the costs involved in that for a $175 ticket. Just like a ticket received from DFO I can choose to fight it and drag that officer into court for the day or just pay it. If we based all of our law enforcement on costs involved we would be living in a lawless society as the cost for keeping the peace far exceeds any amount received for tickets written.
If you read the story they pleaded guilty in court. The way the story reads they did not choose to dispute the ticket like you can a speeding ticket. How may regular police officers do you see compared to DFO officers. So if they are only (just a guess) say they are only 20 DFO officers that work the Fraser Valley it's nice to know that on any given day that so many could be tied up in court with these type of infractions. In no way was saying there should not be any law enforcement, but dragging a guy in to court just because he was fishing with a barb hook is ridiculous. Give the guy a ticket and do what ever else and be on your way. If the courts are going to be tied up because of these infractions while some murder, bank robber, or child molester is going to be out on bail for months because the courts are tied up with this crap.
The way the story reads, they were in court,period. It does not say whether they chose to dispute it, or whether they were issued a summons to appear at the time of the infraction. In light of the offense, and with some idea how the system tends to work, my money rides on them being issued a ticket and disputing it. If DFO operates like the various other police forces, the officers in court were likely there on overtime,i.e. they were not scheduled to work that day. Other forces appear in court as overtime duty, not part of their regular work. The court that hears traffic violations, minor fisheries violations and the like, is not the same court that hears criminal matters. The murderers, bank robbers and child molesters are not going free because the courts are plugged with jaywalkers and lisenceless fisherman. Salmomnator, on another thread you are complaining that no one wants to do anything to protect our fisheries, yet when there is a story about DFO doing the job, you are b!#*&%g about how much it is costing, how little the fine is (these guys were using barbed hook for goodness sake, not fishing without a lisence, poaching, selling game fish). Does anything make you happy or at least content that someone is paying attention??? What would satisfy you??
 

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I have removed my last post and apologize for the comments I have made. If i have offend anyone my apologies go out to them. Much of my frustrations are made with the post of prof. I just cannot believe the wasted resources in our system. Prof you state that the officers were there on overtime, that even makes less sense to have them appear in court. More money wasted, can you imagine having to go and do something that could be handled at the time of the offence on your day off. We are only taking about fishing with a barbed hook for heavens sake. When you are charged with a fisheries offence you are charged with a federal offence not provincial one. They would have to appear in federal court just like a murder, bank robber or any other federal offence. In no way did I imply that people are going free. I only stated that the courts are being plugged up with these matters that could be dealt with in a more timely fashion than having to do all this. With thinking like this no wonder we can not get any where and have the mess we have now.
 

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Conversations regarding the well being of fish species and opportunities to fish for them are often abound with irony.

They are also abound with passion.

One can hope that soon they will be abound with unity, providing a consistent message to decision makers.
 

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the cost isn't the point here guys. that's what license fees go towards. THe point is to make a scene so as to prevent others from acting in similar fashion to the accused. Seeing that people may think "it's just not worth it" to leave a barb on rather than just be lazy. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if these guys just didn't think it would be a "big deal" to fish barbed (or didn't understand why the hook is to be debarbed in the first place...to minimize damage/stress on the fish to increase cnr survival rates.)

I also feel it's a fair punishment as it's not so severe that the charged should feel a need to retaliate and take it out on the fish (ie keep doing what they're doing defiantly)

:2cents:
 

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bronjuan said:
the cost isn't the point here guys. that's what license fees go towards. THe point is to make a scene so as to prevent others from acting in similar fashion to the accused. Seeing that people may think "it's just not worth it" to leave a barb on rather than just be lazy. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if these guys just didn't think it would be a "big deal" to fish barbed (or didn't understand why the hook is to be debarbed in the first place...to minimize damage/stress on the fish to increase cnr survival rates.)

I also feel it's a fair punishment as it's not so severe that the charged should feel a need to retaliate and take it out on the fish (ie keep doing what they're doing defiantly)

:2cents:
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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I could understand stiffer penalties had they these folks been repeat offenders. However to take there vehicle for a first offence is a little harsh. They had there gear confiscated, were fined, prohibited from angling for a year and got there names in print. I would hope that they are aware of the regulations now, and learned a little thing or two. Should they be caught again, sure throw the book at them including seizures of vehicles etc...

My :2cents:
Bill
 

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This they could have issued tickets on site, taken the the gear (which I think they would have) and sent a letter suspending there fishing privileges.

This would still have tied the DFO up in court for the day. The DFO are only provincial police officers and nothing more. The DFO can seize and fine, but it is only as good as the judge that continues the process. Everyone has to be proven guilty in a court of law. The only person that can take your property, suspend you licence is the court.

We need to change our court system to ensure fines and penaltys match the crime that has been commited.
 
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