Steelhead left dead on shore by an egg poacher

Egg Poachers

Have you ever seen a Rainbow or Steelhead Trout lying in the grass on the bank of your favourite creek or river well before opening day of Trout season?

Maybe the poor little gal in the featured image jumped ten, twenty, or even thirty feet out of the water and into the bush “just because”? Maybe an Osprey or Fish Eagle had the unfortunate mishap of losing grip on its prey (because that happens so often)?

I don’t think so.

It’s caused by Loogans and Goons; all better known as poachers.

In simple terms, these degenerates are out for the sole reason of catching female, pre-spawn Trout, strategically inserting a knife blade into the stomach, creating an incision up the center of the fish, peeling out the eggs, bagging the new fresh roe, and finally drop-kicking the fish into the woods.

Yep, that’s a true sportsman, right? It certainly gives us anglers a great reputation, right?

It sickens my gut!

Is this against the law?

Duhhh! You bet it is.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry can’t always be on all streams, no matter how many Conservation Officers are in the field.

Although most people want to mind their own business, or they don’t like confrontation (especially when that Loogan is a 6’6” 320 lb redneck), you can and should still do something.

First thing is to call the MNRF Tips line at 1-877-847-7667 and report the incident. The other alternative is to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). I strongly suggest putting these two numbers in your cell phone right now.

Next is to put that phone to good use in the field. Record video or shoot stills of the perps, their vehicle, their license plates, their boat, their boat registration numbers, or anything that’s identifiable. If people can video (with malicious intent) the police doing their jobs, then hopefully they can video criminals doing whatever the hell they are doing.

I’ll leave my blog by saying: This disgusts me, I know it disgusts Ang, and I’m pretty sure it disgusts everyone else reading this.

We may not be able to take out all the Goons on the river bank, but we can sure as hell try!

By the way, this is not written to negate the MNRF (because I know there’s going to be lots of comments in that direction), this was written to involve us the users of the outdoors and its natural resources. If we do our duty, we can help the Conservation and Police Officers do theirs.

Please leave your opinion, I’d love to hear it.

Pete Bowman

8 Replies to “Egg Poachers”

  1. Further note to early season Steelhead fishing in Ontario:

    Can you bait your hook with the eggs from the fish you catch?

    According to the Ontario fishing regs;

    You may strip fish roe (eggs) from your catch as long as:

    – you catch the fish legally
    – you do not discard or waste the fish after taking the roe

    You may:

    – use fish roe anywhere organic bait is permitted
    – share fish roe with other anglers
    – NOT sell, trade or barter fish roe

  2. It wasn’t too long ago Pete that the wife and I ran into a situation of the nasties all our own. It was a sure fire experience that got our blood boiling that occurs far too many times.

    This happened a ways back in one of our old go to fishing holes at the mouth of Bronte Creek. Were were primarily fishing for Salmon in the fall of that year. Other anglers were having their usually law abiding day. Unfortunately, we spotted one those Loogans or Goons notoriously living it up.

    The action took off nearby, so I went over to check things out. As I engaged the man in conversation, the Salomon splashed, jumped and did what it could to throw the hook but to no avail. He eventually landed the fish. I asked him what he was going to do with his prize catch? He calmly stated, that he was going to let it go. I was suspicions but not wanting to interfere any further, I went about my own business. What was to occur shortly made my skin crawl.

    I did keep me eye on him for obvious reasons. I glanced over just at the right moment and there he was, in the bushes. I held my ground curious as to why the secrecy. When he left the area I cautiously wandered over and I was horrified with what I found! This beautiful Salmon specimen had been milked of it’s eggs and left to die. There was nothing I could do to save it’s life.

    Without hesitation, I whipped out my cell phone and called the M.N.R.F. Tips line at 1-877-847-7667 and reported this creap. I did what I could to identify the perpetrator but by time the Conservation Officer had gotten to my location he was long gone. Next time though, I will be a lot more vigilant and flick on my phones camera getting some or most of the action, his license plate and the person himself, if possible.

    Like you said Pete, most people want to mind their own business, or they don’t like confrontation (especially when that Loogan is a 6’6” 320 lb redneck), but you can and should still do something….I am ready, willing and able to do my part.

    1. hi Pete, I too have run into this situation on the rivers, in fall its not unusual to find dead salmon laying in the creeks, this is their destiny at lifes end, what is sad is so many are sliced and striped of our future fishing, with percentages so high now of salmon reproducing on their own, what chance do they have when prematurely killed and for what, same with steelies, killing a reproducing species just for eggs to catch more fish to continue to get fresh roe, steelhead populations have been on the decline for years, why are we not thinking this through more thoughtfully people, there are so many good alternitives to real rou on the market today guys, why is there not more catch and release areas during pre spawn times, why is roe fishing not banned completely and why are morons still allowed to perform this sickning ritual 0f wiping out generations of our fishing future, thanks a lot dicks,

      1. Trophychasers, I have a feeling that some people take the fall Salmon run pretty lightly… “hey, they’re gonna die anyways so what’s the big deal”, at least the uninformed anglers. I believe this gut-and-chuck-em procedure happens even more on the Salmon than the Steelhead.

        Great points as to the Steelhead as well, thanks for partaking and thanks especially for your closing words… to the point!!!

    2. Trust me Calvin, I get what happened to you. You were unsure as to what’s happening and thus, do not want to make any rash decisions or jump the gun in calling something in that might not happen. That’s why those camera phones will come in handy for future incidents. We are all stewards of our great sport, we need to step up and try to do something.

      Thanks for the comment

  3. Wow! I gotta jump back in here!….

    To coin a popular phrase Pete and Trophychasers, “You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie!” One of the worst areas the wife and I have noticed, is right down there along Bronte Creek, from Lake Ontario to the Queen Elizabeth Highway overpass and beyond. Unfortunately, I can almost guarantee a couple dozen Chinook Salmon, will be butchered during every fall season just for their precious cargo.

    The last time we were in the area below the overpass watching the Salmon run, there on the river bank were several Chinook lying disgorged of their innards and rotting away the future. Discarded like worthless garbage. The sight and stench gave us a severe bout of the collywobbles and almost made us upchuck.

    Upon further investigation we noticed that this debauchery had been going on for quite some time. The Salmon were all in different states of decomposition. Some appeared as fresh kills of maybe a day or so, while others a week or more. Danged reprobates have no shame. I would hazard to guess, there may well be more of these clowns lurking in the shadows than we will ever know.

    Trophychaser stated, “What chance do they have when prematurely killed and for what, same with steelies, killing a reproducing species just for eggs to catch more fish to continue to get fresh roe…..Exactly! Round and round they go in vicious and brutal circle!

    As I said in a previous post : Human activity will cause runoff from rain and snow melt. Silt enters the streams and creeks that flow into these river systems. When Chinook Salmon (which die after spawning by the way) release millions upon millions of eggs, the roe require vast amounts of oxygenated water flowing over them during the incubation stage. The silt covers these embryos, they suffocate and die. They never mature to adulthood and never return to the river to reproduce. The salmon population takes a massive hit before it even begins. Add to that this senseless slaughter….Get the picture?

    Furthermore, fishermen set their lines in anticipation of a trophy during the fall Salmon run. The competition becomes fierce. Men in their greed for the all mighty dollar, tend to over fish. On the other hand, other creatures are only looking to survive on what remains. The salmon population does not stand a chance if this pace keeps up. Remember the devastating effects a similar scenario had on the Cod stocks and the economy of east coast Canada? They are still trying to recover from the recklessness of mismanagement. How can anything survive this onslaught.

    Yeah Pete, I have the M.N.R.F. on speed dial on my cell phone! When these cack-handed dilettante numbskulls feel the desire to display their personalities in such a way again, they will certainly have some serious Man Splainin’ to do in front of a judge.

    Good stewardship is more than just hindsight. Consider the consequences of your actions beforehand. As Winston S. Churchill once stated, “We make a living by what we get – We make a life by what we give”!

    Oh, before I forget. While we were observing the results of this criminal activity, we did happen to notice one bright spot among this disaster. There in a small drainage pool by the river swam an absolute miracle. The wife and I both smiled as we looked down and watched an “ATLANTIC SALMON” while away the day. It’s belly deflated from having spawned recently….Man, you could have knocked us over with a feather. Yee Haw !!….Thank God for little miracles!

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