[Game Warden Archives]


Officer's Notebook Fall 1997
Report-A-Poacher Dial 1-800-642-3800

  • Duck Trafficker Sentenced - Chilliwack, B.C.
  • Get the lead out - Delta, B.C.
  • The perfect plan fails - Canmore District
Alberta Senior Nailed With Illegal Salmon Haul
- Victoria, B.C.
  • Poor example - Barrhead District
Archer on mat for shooting ram
- Canmore District
  • Fish Trafficker Sentenced - Barrhead District
  • Sheep hunters charged for wasting meat - Hinton District
  • Fish Poachers net $7500 fine - High Prairie District

Alberta Senior Nailed With Illegal Salmon Haul - Victoria, B.C.

Moments after pleading guilty in a B.C. courtroom and receiving a fine of $3,200, Michael Zukowski of Sunnybrook, Alberta, was quoted by B.C. press saying, "I'm not guilty. I do not accept responsibility. You don't understand fishing. Goodbye."

Zukowski understands fishing alright. Well enough to catch and stash a total of 82 salmon when he and his wife, Stella, were only lawfully entitled to 16. Words like conservation, moderation and self-control are definitely more helpful to our environment than Zukowski's understanding of the word "fishing."

In mid-July, fisheries officers in Victoria acted on anonymous information regarding an angler who was killing over his allowable salmon limit. Surveillance was conducted on this individual and the information verified.

On July 19, Zukowski was checked by officers as he was about to leave the island, bound for Alberta. He admitted that he had been fishing and that he was transporting fish in his motorhome. Upon checking the motorhome, the officer was first shown a blue cooler which contained an estimated 24 frozen salmon; eight more than their allowable limit of 16. A freezer behind the passenger seat was clearly visible and the officer asked if any more salmon were contained there. Zukowski, after some hesitation, admitted that there were more salmon in the freezer. Thirty-seven salmon were removed from the chest freezer. Four more salmon were found in the fridge freezer.

After determining the extent of the violation, officers seized the $150,000 motorhome and $40,000 boat and had Zukowski drive it to an impound yard. Later the same day officers conducted a more intensive search of the motorhome. This search yielded 15 more salmon stored in coolers in the lower outside storage compartments. After the salmon were removed from the frozen blocks in order that they could be accurately counted, it was determined that Zukowski was in possession of a total of 82 salmon.

Zukowski plead guilty on July 23 to to possessing more than twice the daily limit of salmon, and to possessing fish where the species could not be readily determined. In addition to imposing the $3,200 fine, Judge Allan Filmer prohibited Zukowski from fishing in B.C. for one year. Charges against Stella Zukowski were stayed.

Archer on mat for shooting ram - Canmore District

A bow hunter who had trouble gauging distances will have a year to improve his skills before he is allowed to hunt again in Alberta.

Sheep near Canmore

On Oct. 21, 1996, A Canmore Fish and Wildlife officer received a complaint about the illegal shooting of a bighorn sheep near Exshaw. The officer attended the scene and was forced to destroy the ram which was badly injured by an arrow. Further investigation revealed that the illegal half-curl ram was shot by the archer only 132 metres from Highway 1A, well inside the half-mile sheep hunting restriction zone from the highway.

Investigators subsequently questioned Martine Belleau regarding the incident and he was later charged. On March 5, Belleau plead guilty in Canmore provincial court to one count of hunting wildlife during a closed season. Judge J. Reilly ordered Belleau to pay a fine of $1,000 and suspended his recreational hunting privileges for one year.