July 12th, 2024

Illegal fishing nets substantial fine


By Tim Kalinowski on August 26, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

A day of fishing out with the kids turned into some substantial fines for a couple who illegally harvested fish from Little Bow Provincial Park..
Franz Froesse admitted in Lethbridge provincial court on Wednesday that he and his wife, Eva Klassen, took their kids on June 6 to Little Bow Provincial Park, which has a strict catch and release policy because native fish populations are too low to sustain harvesting on a yearly basis, and began fishing from the docks in the reservoir there. A tip to the provincial poaching line led conservation officers to the scene where they covertly observed Froesse placing two fish in a small cooler which he then transported to his vehicle, opened the trunk, and emptied the catch into a larger cooler.
Upon searching the vehicle, the officers discovered three pike and seven walleye in the larger cooler which Froesse admitted he had caught alongside his children, stating to officers at the time he was “guilty as charged.”
Froesse and Klassen were then arrested on the scene and charged with possession of the illegal fish.
Froesse formally pleaded guilty to those charges on Wednesday, and was given a $250 fine for each of the fish harvested to a total of $2,500 by Judge Erin Olsen.
The same charges were withdrawn for Klassen, but she pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence. Olsen ordered Klassen to pay a $300 fine for this offence.
“That’s a lot of money; I understand that,” said Olsen while passing sentence. “But it’s also a valuable lesson in there for both you and your kids. And I hope you avoid this sort of problem in the future.
“The really important thing here is conserving the fish so your kids and their kids can still fish sometime in the future,” Olsen added.

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