Over 500 pounds of spoiled fish leads to fine for Morpeth man

Lake Erie on March 3, 2020 (Photo by Allanah Wills)

A Chatham-Kent man will have to pay a hefty fine after letting hundreds of pounds of fish spoil in Lake Erie.

According to The Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry, Michael Pilon of Morpeth pleaded guilty to allowing fish suitable for human consumption to spoil. As a result, Pilon was fined $3,000. He also pleaded guilty to failing to keep an accurate commercial fishing logbook, which comes with a fine of $500.

The ministry said that in September 2020, conservation officers received a complaint about a possible abandoned gill net in the Chatham-Kent waters of Lake Erie near Erieau.

“Officers located the suspected abandoned net, which was removed from the lake and was determined to have been previously set by Pilon,” ministry officials said in a statement. “Approximately 561 pounds of mostly spoiled walleye was in the net, which was deducted from the commercial fishing licence holder’s walleye quota.”

Justice of the Peace David Auger heard the case remotely in the Ontario Court of Justice in Chatham on September 22, 2021.

“Conservation officers remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits, we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy,” the ministry said.