North Okanagan fisherman gets another 5-year fishing ban | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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North Okanagan fisherman gets another 5-year fishing ban

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March 02, 2021 - 1:21 PM

A North Okanagan man previously banned from fishing for five years has been given another five-year ban and fined $1,500 after being found guilty for fishing while prohibited.

A media release from Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada says Frederick Stanley Kent, born 1960, was found guilty of fishing while prohibited and for the unlawful possession of fish at Salmon Arm Provincial Court Dec. 21, 2020. He was ordered to forfeit his fishing equipment, fined $1,500, and given another five-year fishing ban.

"(The) protection of these fragile fish stocks is important in ensuring survival of the species, and it is the hope that the sentencing for this case will serve as a deterrent to others who consider abusing this resource," B.C. Provincial Court Judge George Leven said, according to the release.

The incident stems back to Aug. 27, 2019, when Fisheries officers spotted Kent fishing in the Shuswap River from a bridge near Grindrod. The officers were aware that the Enderby resident was under a court-ordered prohibition banning him from fishing after he was found guilty of fishing violations in 2015.

During the trial Nov. 17, 2020, the court heard how Kent had obtained a fishing licence for the 2019 season and even filled in the box to record what fish he'd caught. The Salmon Arm courtroom heard he caught three chinook salmon earlier in August 2019. During the trial, Kent said he didn't understand what "prohibition" meant when asked about his 2015 conviction and the orders that had followed it.

The media release says in June 2015 Kent was banned for five years and fined $4,550 after he pleaded guilty to 13 of 15 charges of illegal fishing on the Shuswap River. The charges included illegal possession of fish, foul-hooking fish, molesting fish, exceeding the monthly quota for adult Chinook salmon, and failing to record his catch, along with making a false or misleading statement to a fishery officer.

Following Kent's 2015 conviction the province and Fisheries and Oceans Canada barred fishing within 50 metres from the Trinity Valley Road Bridge between June and November each year.

The release says the Lower Shuswap River is only open to Fraser chinook salmon fishing for four weeks per year, and strict quotas are in place to ensure enough of the fish survive.

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