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MNR cracking down on illegal baitfish

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People who put illegal baitfish traps in local ponds and creeks, or sell baitfish without a licence, are committing offences and risk being charged, according to Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers from Dryden District.

COs have found a number of illegal baitfish traps this summer.

Baitfish traps must be clearly labelled with the name of the user, and must not exceed the maximum permitted size.

The ministry also has received complaints about individuals selling baitfish without a licence to do so.

It is an offence to possess illegal baitfish.

New bait regulations have been put in place to protect rare and endangered species, conserve biodiversity, and prevent the spread of invasive species.

For example, anglers no longer may use live yellow perch or alewife in the Great Lakes.

The MNR reminds anglers that it is illegal to release any live bait or dump the contents of a bait bucket, including the water, into any waters or within 30 metres of any waters.

No live fish or live spawn may be transferred from one body of water to another without the authorization of the ministry.

Non-residents cannot trap minnows for bait.

For more information on fishing regulations, consult the 2008-09 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, which is available at ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres, from licence issuers, and at ontario.ca/fishing

To report natural resources violations, call toll-free 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) any time or contact your local MNR office during regular business hours.

You also can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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