Two Men Found Guilty And Fined For Unlawfully Using Live Baitfish As Bait


The Ontario government is protecting important fish species, such as brook trout, by stopping the spread of invasive species.

Matthew Butler, of Pembroke, and Jeffery Marks, of North Bay both pleaded guilty to unlawfully using live baitfish as bait and were fined $2,000 each. Butler was also fined $500 for angling with too many lines.

The court heard that on February 20, 2021, conservation officers were patrolling baitfish-restricted natural brook trout lakes near Algonquin Park. The two men were contacted while angling through the ice on one of the specially protected lakes. Officers observed one of the men attempt to conceal live baitfish from the end of one of the lines. The inspection revealed that they were actively angling for brook trout using live baitfish on their set fishing lines. In addition, one male was angling with too many lines.

Justice of the Peace Kathleen Bryant heard the case via video conferencing in the Ontario Court of Justice, Parry Sound, on September 14, 2021.

Conservation officers remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits, we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy. To report a natural resource problem or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit


  1. If the ontario Govt. was interested in protecting the brook trout fishing in Ont they would not have put pike in Vernon lake to not only decimate the brook trout fishing in that lake but every stream and river and lake that flows into lake vernon. About the only place you can catch a brook trout around Huntsville any more is to get away back in a few lakes that are only accessible by snow machine of atv. Not very handy or possible for us old guy’s.


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