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MNR regs. did not apply to Emo Walleye Tourney

Dear Editor;
The Ministry of Natural Resources say they are handcuffed on how a fishing tournament is run; but all tournaments regulations have to abide to the rules and regulations of Ontario Fisheries.
This did not apply to the 2002 Emo Walleye Classic when these regulations were violated with fishermen bringing in a Walleye that exceeded the length limitations.
The proof of this infraction was written on Tuesday, December 31st, 2002 in the Fort Frances Times under this heading: “2002: Looking Back at the Year It Was”
“Harvey Cochrane and Oliver Gibbons win the inaugural Emo Walleye Classic after three of the four fish brought in by leaders Bryan Hughes and Trevor Crosswell are found to exceed the acceptable length limitations”.
When regulations are broken a penalty of some degree in variance is administered. The breaking of the Ontario Fisheries regulations should have been an automatic disqualification and a fine dealt by the MNR, but the Tournament Officials gave the violators fifth place, thus cheating the team that fell just below the prize award list.
What if a non-tournament angler was caught with an illegal fish? “Yes” it would be a loss of equipment, a fine or both so why should a tournament angler have the rights on breaking the rules?
At the 2002 Atikokan Bass Tournament one team brought in one too many fish and were disqualified. They did not jeopardize the welfare of our fisheries but lost their time, expense and effort for this mistake. They did not break the Ontario Fishing regulation as you are allowed four Bass per person. They had seven instead of the Tournament regulation of six.
If the Tournament committee are going to have rules and regulations they should stick to it, especially when it involves the Ontario Fisheries Regulation.
It is a concern of mine that the MNR has no jurisdiction on fishing tournament as there are mistakes that have caused the destruction of our Fisheries.
The highly stressed advertisement on “Catch and Live Release” is over emphasized. The catch and release is of significance but the “live” is somewhat doubtful as the past indicates.
We take what Mother Nature provides us for granted, but once gone it cannot be replaced.
–Mike Baranowski,
Nestor Falls