On June 17, 2019, members of the Boyle Integrated Traffic Unit conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the Lac La Biche area. During the traffic stop, members of the RCMP and Alberta Sheriffs uncovered several bags of unidentified fish fillets in the suspect’s vehicle. Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officers from the Lac La Biche district were notified and responded, and 20 fillets and 20 fish cheeks were seized. With help from the Fish and Wildlife Forensic Lab, the fish were determined to be Walleye. Walleye are vulnerable to overharvest, and regulations are in place to help keep fragile, yet high-demand fisheries sustainable.
On December 9, 2019, Donald Grammer pled guilty to illegally purchasing fish contrary to the General Fisheries (Alberta) Regulation. He received a fine of $4000, and the fish were forfeited to the Crown.
The unlawful commercialization of fish is of significant concern to the health of the Alberta’s fisheries resources. Illegally purchasing fish helps fuel black market demand, which can lead to increased poaching and pressure on already fragile fish populations. Additionally, fish unlawfully sold are not inspected or certified for human consumption.
Anyone with information on unlawful fishing activity or fish trafficking is asked to call the Report-A-Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800. Callers can remain anonymous, and may qualify for a reward.
Fish and wildlife officers have a strong working relationship with other law enforcement organization, and we want to thank the Sheriffs branch and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Alberta for their assistance in this investigation.