A man will fork over a hefty fine of $10,000 for illegally guiding on the Copper River.
Andrew Maillot pleaded guilty to one charge of illegal guiding in Port Coquitlam court and was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $9,000 to the “Habitat Conservation Trust Fund for fish conservation and enhancement and management in the Skeena Region.”
When handing down the sentence, the judge spoke to the difficulty of these types of investigations: how illegal guides have economic advantages over legal guides and the importance of general deterrence.
In September 2010, the Smithers Conservation Officer Service received a complaint alleging that Maillot was illegally guiding fishermen on the Copper River (also known as the Zymoetz River).
The investigation resulted in Wildlife Act charges of acting as a guide without proper licence, angling without licence or permit required by regulation and acting as guide for fishing without proper licence.
The Copper River is considered a classified river that flows into the Skeena River near Terrace and is widely considered one of the best rivers in the world to fish for wild steelhead. Angling guiding is an extremely important industry locally and these issues are a huge concern to local guides as it has huge impacts on their business.