Two Edmonton men have been handed fines totalling $22,000 and 14 years of fishing suspensions for poaching walleye from Lesser Slave Lake, says Alberta Fish and Wildlife.
On June 1, Fish and Wildlife Officers observed Keith Daly and Richard Daly catch and keep fish that appeared to be walleye. When officers stopped their boat, the men claimed they had only kept two walleye, but a subsequent search revealed six more walleye in a hidden compartment.
A person can only have one walleye in their possession from Lesser Slave Lake from May 15 to Oct.31.
Both men were arrested and charged for exceeding the possession limit, and the fish, boat, and its contents were seized by officers. Also, after getting consent to search the Dalys’ cabin, officers recovered fillets from additional walleye.
The next day, the two men went fishing again in a different boat and caught two walleye, which they took back to their cabin. They then went back on the lake and caught another two walleye, but they continued to fish and compared any new walleye to the ones they had already retained, occasionally switching the fish out.
Officers stopped the pair’s boat, arrested them again, and seized the fish, boat, and its contents.
Both men pleaded guilty in Provincial Court at Red Earth Creek to exceeding the catch and possession limits by a total of 22 walleye. On passing sentence, Judge David Shynkar said, “By way of aggravating factors, there is the outrageous behavior of both of them. I was inclined at first blush to characterize it as a lack of respect for the rights of other Albertans. This is a resource that belongs to all Albertans. I don’t think a lack of respect really covers it. Contempt for the rights of other Albertan’s seems to me more appropriate.”
On Lesser Slave Lake, the limit of one walleye per person exists to help preserve the sensitive walleye population and allow the fish to prosper.
Anyone with information that would assist in solving any fish or wildlife crime in Alberta is asked to contact a local Alberta government Fish and Wildlife Enforcement office or call the 24-hour, toll-free Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.
Anyone who provides information can remain anonymous and could qualify for a reward.