OFFICER'S NOTEBOOK - SPRING 1996
CONVICTED! BIG FINES AND FORFEITURE OF VEHICLE
Second Time 'Round Barrhead District
Fishing to fill his partner's whitefish limit, cost a Spruce Grove man $1,200 and a year's fishing privileges.
Brad Allan Kinhnicki, 38, was fined in Stony Plain provincial court, following a too successful night of fishing on Wabamun Lake on Oct. 21, 1995.
Due to citizen complaints of whitefish over limits being taken from Wabamun Lake, a fish and wildlife officer, together with a volunteer, conducted plain clothes surveillance of the lake. Posing as anglers, the pair monitored the catches of anglers in what is locally referred to as the "trestle" area of the lake.
As darkness set in, the pair homed in on Kinhnicki, who appeared to be having great success. They monitored his whitefish catch, determining he had caught and kept 17 whitefish, seven more than the legal catch limit.
Traffic Court Commissioner Waldo Ranson heard in court that Kinhnicki had a previous conviction for exceeding his whitefish catch limit on the same lake in 1994. Ranson commented that from his previous conviction, Kinhnicki had only learned to rationalize that he and his fishing partner could take home 20 whitefish between the two of them. But fisheries legislation clearly states the daily catch limit is the possession limit. Once an angler has caught and retained his own limit, he can't continue to fish to fill a partner's limit.
Ranson added that if Kinhnicki had caught more than 20 whitefish, thereby exceeding the limits for the two persons present, the fine would have been even higher.
When fisheries management staff set catch limits, they take into account that not every angler will catch his limit. To fill another angler's limit in addition, skews these principles of fisheries management.
Night Hunter Convicted Big Fines and Forfeiture of Vehicle Red Deer District
A man who rigged his truck for night hunting has been fined $3,050 and had his vehicle forfeited following a three day trial.
Brian Leonard Lippert of Lousana, Alberta, was found guilty Jan. 17, 1996 in Red Deer provincial court, of night hunting, possessing a light for the purpose of hunting, wilful obstruction of a peace officer and failing to notify the owner of property damaged in an accident.
During the trial, Judge T.G. Schollie heard evidence from nine crown witnesses and five defence witnesses. A total of 17 exhibits were entered including a one million candle power spotlight, shells, meat saw, knife, and a one hour videotape detailing the contents of the accused's vehicle and the manner in which the vehicle had been modified for night hunting. The truck was outfitted with eight exterior lights, a brake light cut-out switch, an interior light cutout switch, and an AC extension cord installed directly to the battery through the firewall. The spotlight which was seized had been modified with an AC end.
The charges stemmed from an incident on Nov. 11, 1994 when Fish and Wildlife Officers in Red Deer received information through the Report-A-Poacher hotline that night hunting activity had occurred that morning at about 6 a.m. near Delburne, Alberta. The informant had witnessed the spotlighting activity and as a result chased Lippert's vehicle for more than 10 km at speeds reaching 140 kmh, in order to obtain the licence plate number. At 7:15 p.m. that same day, Wildlife Officers located and seized the vehicle.
Witnesses who observed the activity testified that they saw a spotlight being operated out of the passenger side of the truck, in a prime deer field. When the witnesses entered the field, the vehicle fled the scene through a closed gate.
Judge Schollie concluded that the only rational explanation for Lippert's actions that morning, was that he was night hunting.