Three Toronto men have been charged a total of $3,500 for illegally fishing salmon on the Humber River.
The cases of Ervin Paczok and Atilla and Zsolt Raffael were heard by Justice of the Peace Sunny Ng on Dec. 13.
The court heard that Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers conducted patrols along the Humber River in Toronto during the fall migration of spawning salmon.
On Oct. 3, Paczok was seen wading in the Humber River – chasing salmon and trying to catch them by scooping them up with a fish landing net.
Paczok pleaded guilty and was fined $1,500 for attempting to catch salmon with a landing net – the second time he’s been convicted for salmon poaching offences this year.
On Oct. 11, conservation officers saw Attila and Zsolt Raffael trying to snag salmon in the Humber River immediately below a dam, an area that is closed to fishing.
The two men pleaded guilty and were each fined $500 for fishing less than 75 feet downstream from a dam and $500 for attempting to snag salmon with a weighted hook. In addition to the fines, their fishing equipment has been permanently forfeited.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, migratory fish like salmon and rainbow trout are vulnerable to poaching when they congregate in shallow water and in the pools at the base of dams while moving upstream to spawn.
Illegal fishing methods, such as netting and snagging, damage those fish populations and threaten the economic and social benefits that healthy fisheries provide to the people of Ontario.
To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time. or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).