Nfld. & Labrador·Video

Tips lead to string of salmon poaching busts in central Nfld.

Wildlife officers say it's been an extremely busy summer dealing with salmon poachers in central Newfoundland.
Wildlife officers say it's been an extremely busy summer dealing with salmon poachers in central Newfoundland. 3:29

Wildlife officers say they've had an extremely busy summer dealing with salmon poachers in central Newfoundland.

Fish and Wildlife officer Grant White said it's been an "extremely" busy time for him and his co-workers in Gander. 

He said most of the big busts that have happened so far have started with tips from the public. 

"We receive a number of complaints from the public this year, but we welcome more," he said.

"It's extremely important that we maintain a good relationship with the public."

Officers using combination of response calls, routine checks

A call from a concerned citizen can sometimes lead to days in the woods for officers, staking out illegal fishing nets.

Fish and Wildlife officer Grant White is crediting public tips for helping him and other officers better protect salmon stocks in the province. (CBC)

"Typically surveillance operations could last up to seven days," he said. "You're in the field and most of our movements are under the cover of darkness."

White told CBC News that despite the long hours involved in covert operations, officers still find time for routine inspections. He insists people look up proper regulations such as those surrounding the tagging of fish.

White said the more people report poaching, the better wildlife officers can protect fish stocks.

"They're our eyes and ears in the field," he said.

"We want to make sure [fish] populations remain sustainable for future populations."

With files from Chris Ensing.

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