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WINDSOR ó Sept.22, 2005

A Lake Erie (Canadian) commercial fisherman plead guilty Wednesday and was fined $5000.00 for fishing in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie and submitting a false daily catch report.

Jose Pacheco of Leamington plead guilty to failing to file an accurate daily catch report. The court ordered permanent seizure of the fish, which had a value of $5352.65.

Mr. Pacheco had previously plead guilty to charges laid by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and had been fined $1000.00 (US) and ordered to pay $4200.00 (US) for restitution of the fish illegally caught.

On December 16, 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources was notified by Ohio Department of Natural Resources that the U.S. Coast Guard was monitoring the Miss Vanessa II as it pulled gill nets in U.S. waters.

When the vessel returned to Wheatley, Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers seized 1161 kilograms of fish, including 1101 kilograms of walleye.

Investigators found that the location of the nets as written in the captainís daily catch report for December 16 was false.

Justice of the Peace Rogers heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on September 21, 2005.

The public is encouraged to help protect its natural resources by reporting violations to the local ministry office or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).