Canadian Conservation Officers

     While our group was out fishing this weekend a Canadian Conservation Officer and his sidekick descended upon us like mosquitoes at dusk.  When they pulled up only two in our group were still fishing while the rest of us were hanging around the fire.  The group included Mike’s dad, mom, brother, sister and her boyfriend and my sister, brother-in-law, niece, Abby, Josh, Mike and me, a total of 12.  We traveled in two groups in the BWCA, had Remote Area Border Crossing Permits and had purchased fishing licenses that morning at Chippewa Inn for the 7 of us who planned to fish.  My sister and Mike’s mom chose not to get fishing licenses because they knew they didn’t want to fish and the three kids could fish as long as their limit fell under an adult’s limit. 

     When the Officer approached us it was as if we were inmates in a high security prison who had just escaped.  "How many lines do you have in the water?"  "How many fish have you caught?" "Who has a license?"  "Do you know how many fish you can keep with a Conservation License?"  The interrogation seemed to last forever which I thought was hilarious since we didn’t even have one fish on the ice.  When ice fishing you can have two lines out as long as you are within 100 feet of the hole and we didn’t even have enough holes drilled to do such a thing.  I had left my rod next to the hole with the minnow floating on the surface and when I asked if this counted as having a line in he replied, "It depends upon how bad I want to pinch you."

     He must have asked us 4 times if we had caught any fish and on the fifth time I replied, "No, we haven’t, now quit rubbing it in!"  I’m pretty sure underneath his tough exterior he was a Robocop because his face never considered a smile.  It would be nice if Conservation Officers would be friendly and promote experiencing outdoor resources instead of making people feel like criminals when they encounter them.  I’m hoping the Conservation Officers in Minnesota are much friendlier. 


     Mike’s mom sent me this photo last night with the following headline, "May I see your fishing license?" 

A Canadian Conservation Officer caught this unsuspecting perpetrator fishing trout without a Canadian license. He was fined $500 dollars for fishing without a license but was granted a lesser fine when he convinced the judge that all he owned in the world was the shirt on his back!