A Minnesota man has been fined for trying to sneak minnows into Ontario.
The U.S. angler was fined $2,500 for illegally bringing minnows into the province as bait, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry reported.
In November 2015, conservation officers spoke with the angler while on routine patrol in Sabaskong Bay in Lake of the Woods, the ministry stated in a news release.
During an inspection, officers located live shiner minnows, which were being used as bait. The angler claimed to have bought the minnows at an Ontario bait fish dealer the previous day — and showed a receipt which appeared to be legitimate, as the receipt included an authentic-looking Ontario bait fish dealer stamp.
Further investigation revealed the minnows were actually bought in the U.S. and brought over the border, the ministry said.
Importing live organisms like live shiner minnows can be a threat to aquatic ecosystems, ministry officials added.