July 6th, 2018 - A number of individuals from Aylmer have been fined a total of
$5,550 for fishing-related offences.
David Dawson of Aylmer pleaded guilty and was fined $2,000 for illegally selling
angler-caught fish, $500 for possessing 188 dozen baitfish over his possession
limit, and $250 for catching four yellow perch over his limit. His fishing gear,
processing equipment, fish scaling machine, freezer, boat and motor were forfeited
to the Crown and he is prohibited from fishing in Ontario for five years.
Abe Braun, Gerhard Braun, David Ellis and Thomas Secord pleaded guilty and were
each fined $500 for illegally buying angler-caught yellow perch. Isaak Fehr and
Treven O’Reilly pleaded guilty and were each fined $400 for the same offence.
Court heard that conservation officers with the Southern Marine Enforcement Unit
and Aylmer Enforcement Unit, supported by the ministry’s Intelligence and Investigations
Section, launched an investigation after receiving several complaints from the public
regarding alleged illegal fishing activities conducted by Dawson. Between May 2015
and June 2016, conservation officers conducted surveillance of Dawson and observed
him catching yellow perch from Lake Erie and later processing the fish in his garage.
Dawson was observed selling this fish on multiple occasions to several individual
buyers. In July 2016, conservation officers, with the assistance of officers from
the Aylmer Police Service, executed two simultaneous search warrants on a garage
in Aylmer and a fishing boat at a marina in Port Bruce.
Judge Edward McGrath heard the over-limit of baitfish case in the Superior Court
of Justice, St. Thomas, on March 7, 2017. Justice of the Peace Terence Steenson
heard the other case against Dawson in the Ontario Court of Justice, St. Thomas,
on June 26, 2018.
The cases against those who purchased the fish were heard by Justice of the Peace
Robert Seneshen and Justice of the Peace Peter Aharan in the Ontario Court of Justice,
St. Thomas, on January 12, 2017, and February 10, 2017.
A licence is required to harvest and sell fish in Ontario and it is illegal to purchase
or sell angler-caught fish. Fish retail outlets must purchase fish for resale from
fish processing facilities or holders of commercial fishing licences.
For further information on fishing regulations, please consult the Recreational
Fishing Regulations Summary, available at ontario.ca/fishing.
To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667
toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business
hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). And
visit Ontario.ca/mnrftips to view an interactive, searchable map of unsolved cases.
You may be able to provide information that will help solve a case.