Missouri man fined more than $6,000 for possessing fish over the legal limit

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FORT FRANCES — A Missouri man who was on his way home from a remote fly-in fishing trip near the Fort Frances border crossing was fined $6,500 for fishing over the limit from an incident more than two years ago.

Court heard on June 23, 2018, Eric Balkenbush was travelling when his vehicle was directed into an enforcement check-in station near the Fort Frances border crossing, according to a news release issued by the ministry of natural resources and forestry on Feb. 5.

An inspection found four bags of unidentifiable fish fillets. There was no ice used to preserve the fish and it was evident that had spoiled, the release said.

Officers seized the fish and DNA-analysis determined Balkenbush was in possession of 16 walleye and nine bass over the legal limit.

Justice of the Peace Patricia Clysdale-Cornell heard the case in Fort Frances on Jan. 7.

On top of being fined, the courts also issued an order prohibiting him from possessing a fishing licence or engaging in any fishing actives in Ontario for four years.

The ministry is reminding anglers not to over-fish and to package fish so they can be readily identified and easily counted. Fishing limits are in place to maintain a sustainable fishery so that anglers and other users may enjoy the resources in the future, the ministry says.

Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source