I agree with retired conservation officer Gerald MacDougall on the recent issue in the news of the dumb-like-a-fox gentleman from Ontario trying to say he “didn’t know” the rules. And shame and jeers to the bureaucrats who are trying to qualify officer discretion. Discretion is for the officer involved to determine, not anybody else. Period.
A long time ago when I was about 14-years-old, I was out fishing early one morning and had caught my limit, so as I was rowing back home, I passed by an old man sitting along the shore who asked me how the fishing was. I informed him that I had caught my limit. He then asked me why I had quit fishing so early if the fishing was so good. I told him I caught my limit.
I then kind of wondered when he said, “well, you should have kept fishing.” I repeated to him, “I caught my limit.” He responded with, “well you won’t get caught around here.” And that, my friends, is possibly why an old man from Ontario fishes without a licence on P.E.I.
The only other possible reason would be a “could-care-less” attitude as we all know that different jurisdictions have variations of the rules. If a 14-year-old has enough respect to find out about what rules apply, being 86-years-old, one should certainly be old enough to know better.
I have absolutely no sympathy for him. Who is he to say the conservation officer should have done this or that instead of laying charges? The gentleman should have thought about doing this or that himself before he set out with the fishing rod. His intent was to catch fish and he was lucky he didn’t have any as the penalty could have been more severe. Rewarding poor judgment with a new rod and reel is disgusting.
Senior anglers in Ontario are not required to have a fishing licence. However, they are required to have an outdoors card for a nominal fee, similar to senior P.E.I. anglers being required to pay a conservation fee of $13, plus HST.
- James Danyluck is a retired Ontario conservation officer