Ban on Roadside Checks of Anglers to be Revisited

Thursday, January 08, 2004 at 13:47



Saskatchewan Environment hopes the courts will allow the department to re-introduce some form of roadside inspections to enforce fishing limits on northern lakes.


Last year, a judge ruled that the practice of conservation officers conducting random checks of vehicles across the North was unconstitutional.


Saskatchewan Environment official Dave Harvey says the inspections were the most effective tool the department had to catch people who overfish.


He hopes Saskatchewan Justice will at least allow his department to use roadside inspections on access roads to lakes that have a threatened fish population.


Harvey says even though the judge hearing the case didn’t see enough statistics that proved the roadside inspections were needed, Harvey says there’s no question they have been an effective deterrent.


Harvey admits conservation officers can still enforce the rules from docks and on the water, but says it’s easier for offenders to slip through the cracks.


He’s worried about what a lack of roadside inspections could do to northern fish populations, but says it’s up to the department to make a better case for them.