Monday, September 28, 2015

Alberta anglers plan to observe poaching case at Pincher Creek Provincial Court

press release

In June, a concerned member of the public phoned the Report A Poacher line regarding a group of anglers on the Oldman River upstream of Highway 22. The concerned caller suspected the men may be keeping more fish than the limit and recorded the licence plate numbers of the suspected anglers' vehicles. Officers responded and discovered six Lethbridge men in possession of 25 cutthroat trout and four bull trout. On September 29, 2015 at 10:00 am, the suspects of the June poaching event are set to appear in Pincher Creek Provincial Court.

The Oldman River and tributaries are a favorite destination of many anglers around Alberta. The watershed is facing significant threats from poaching and environmental degradation from factors such as mining, logging and irresponsible Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use.

Anglers from around Alberta will be attending the proceedings in Pincher Creek on September 29. Their respectful observation of the proceedings sends a clear message that anglers truly care about this fishery and will not remain idle while habitat destruction and poaching continue to impair the recovery of Alberta’s native trout species.

Richard Burke, President of the Oldman River Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada commented on September 29 court case, “The Oldman River Chapter of Trout Unlimited has a long history of habitat restoration projects and general concern for the Oldman River system. Despite the efforts of our chapter and others, we’ve seen Southwestern Alberta’s streams deteriorate from an abundant fishery to one which needs help from everyone to avoid two native trout species from going extinct as a result of human activities. We hope the upshot of this court case sends a clear message to poachers and others that actions which threaten our fishery will no longer be tolerated.”

The rally is being organized by Calgary angler Jordan Pinkster. According to Pinkster, “this act of poaching is very personal for many anglers that frequent the Oldman system. Many acts of poaching are not caught, and the impact on this sensitive fishery is very destructive. It is my hope that through our attendance in Pincher Creek, anglers can send a clear message that we care about this fishery and hope that more can be done to protect this precious resource.”

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