Inland fisheries officers seized salmon, a net and two ATVs near the Branch River in southern Newfoundland in August. ((Government of Newfoundland and Labrador))

The mayor of a tiny community on Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula insists poaching charges brought against him are unfounded.

Melvin Careen, mayor of the St. Mary's Bay community of Point Lance, was one of two people that Newfoundland and Labrador inland fisheries officers charged in late August with poaching.

Fisheries officers say a net was used across the Branch River to catch 43 salmon.

But Careen told CBC News he was not poaching but instead found the salmon by the side of a pond.

Careen refused a taped interview but said he was only transporting the fish he had found when officers stopped him on his all-terrain vehicle.

Careen said "it's not right" that officers were able to confiscate his ATV, one of two vehicles that were apprehended in the investigation.

Careen said he plans to plead not guilty on Nov. 9, when the matter scheduled for provincial court in Placentia.

He does not plan to resign as mayor of Point Lance, noting the position is "only volunteer anyway."