A Minnesota resident has been fined $800 for a bait violation.
Russel R. Sikkila Jr. of Chisholm pleaded guilty and was fined $800 for illegally bringing live leeches into Ontario for use as bait.
Court heard that on July 18, 2017, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers conducted an inspection of Sikkila’s vessel at their remote customs entry station on Sand Point Lake. During the inspection, officers located a cooler containing three white foam containers. While all three containers were marked as housing worms, one held 12 live leeches instead. CBSA officers verified that Sikkila was working as a commercial fishing guide in Crane Lake, Minnesota, and was on his way to the Ontario waters of Sand Point Lake where he intended to use the leeches as bait.
Justice of the Peace Denette Maslach heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Atikokan, on November 23, 2017.
The ministry reminds the public that importing live organisms can threaten aquatic ecosystems by introducing invasive species and transmitting pathogens such as parasites, viruses and bacteria not native to Ontario.
To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Source: Northwest Ontario Outdoors