On September 28, 2015, Sophie Goupil and Gerard Visneskie pleaded guilty to a wide variety of poaching charges in Stony Plain Provincial Court. Sophie Goupil received a fine of $16,000. Gerard Visneskie received a fine of $34,000.
In addition, both Goupil and Visneskie are prohibited from hunting or accompanying others who are hunting for eight years and fishing or accompanying others who are fishing for two years. They are also required to report any change of address and any possession of wildlife or fish to Fish and Wildlife Officers. In addition, they are subject to comprehensive limitations on where they can be in possession of weapons for eight years.
A relaxing day off turned into a surprise work day for two fish and wildlife officers.
Justin Roebothan and another officer decided to go fishing Aug. 31 at the Bottom Brook near Lewisporte.
When the two officers arrived at the fishing spot, they saw two people who appeared to be illegally poaching salmon.
"They were corralling the fish that were held up there behind the beaver dam out into the open where they could access them," said Roebothan in an interview with the Central Morning Show.
Even though the incident came on their day off, Roebothan says it was second nature for them to do something to stop the poachers.
"We observed them for a couple minutes and after we saw what we needed to see, we decided to intercept the individuals and proceed with laying charges."
"There was a short foot pursuit, but they gave up pretty quick," says Roebothan.