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Officers monitor over-limit ice fishing

Monitoring over-limit ice fishing for lingcod is keeping conservation officers busy at night, Sgt. Len Butler of the Conservation Officer Services said Monday.

“We have a few areas near Lac La Hache and 100 Mile House where people use set lines overnight for lingcod, using live fish for bait,” Butler said. “They do it under the cloak of darkness.”

The problem with possibly using live bait is the fact people are bringing in species that don’t belong in local lakes, he added.

“It’s a concern for sure, so we’re doing some night patrols for that.”

It is illegal to use minnows as bait whether they are native to the region or not, said the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

The use of fin fish — dead or alive — or parts of fin fish other than roe is prohibited throughout the province with a few exceptions.

People may use the head of fin fish or the headless body of fin fish as bait, only when sport fishing for sturgeon in Fraser River — Region 2 only, or when set lining in lakes of Region 6 (Skeena) or in lakes of Zone A of Region 7 (Omineca), the ministry noted.

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