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The Ministry of Environment speaks out against illegal bull trout fishing

The Ministry of Environment expressed their growing concerns over illegal bull trout fishing. - K. Dingman
The Ministry of Environment expressed their growing concerns over illegal bull trout fishing.
— image credit: K. Dingman

There have been several reported cases of illegal fishing on the Wigwam River this summer that have promoted the Ministry of Environment to take action.

With the fall quickly approaching, and bull trout preparing to spawn, locals are being reminded that catching these trout fish is not permitted under the Federal Fisheries Act and Regulations.

Anyone involved in illegal angling activity can be fined up to $1,000, Conservation Officer Patricia Burley said in a press release on August 15.

This fish species spawn in the fall, leaving eggs in the gravel over the winter to hatch in spring, according to Wildsight.

Bull trout are known for their big mouth and bright colours. The trout have disappeared from many places due to habitat loss, however they still populate British Columbia rivers.

And the Ministry of Environment hopes to preserve the trout species through education and regulation enforcement.

“Bull Trout carcasses have been found along the shore of the Wigwam River,” Burley said.

“One female Bull Trout was found with its side ripped open and left alive on the shoreline.”

Illegal angling activity includes using illegal gear, such as treble, barbed hooks and bait.

Other violations include failing to release fish in the least harmful manner, foul hooking and retaining more fish than the daily quota permits.

Under the act, individuals are not permitted to retain any bull trout from the Wigwam River.

For more information or to report illegal fishing activity contact the Ministry of Environment at 1-877-952.7277.

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