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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ont. man jailed for attack on Asian anglers

Ont. man jailed for attack on Asian anglers

An Ontario man has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail Friday for attacking a group of Asian anglers and their friends in 2007.

Justice Alfred Stong also sentenced Trevor Middleton, 23, to three years' probation after he has served his sentence, and 240 hours of community service helping seniors and people with mental disabilities. Middleton will also be required to attend a cultural awareness course, and he's been banned from driving for 10 years.

A jury found Middleton guilty in December of four counts of aggravated assault and two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. The charges relate to an attack on Shayne Berwick and six of his friends — two of Asian descent — in Georgina Township, northeast of Newmarket, about 50 kilometres north of Toronto.

The group was fishing near Mossington Park Bridge off Lake Simcoe early in the morning on Sept. 16, 2007, when Middleton and some of his friends arrived. Middleton's group pushed two of Berwick's friends off the dock and into the lake, the court heard.

A scuffle ensued between members of the two groups, and one of Middleton's friends was badly beaten.

Berwick and his friends then got into a car and fled. But Middleton chased them down a road with his pickup truck, ramming into the car repeatedly until it crashed into a tree, court heard. Berwick was severely injured in the crash and suffered brain damage.

Despite finding that race played a role in the attack, the judge didn’t use hate crime provisions of the criminal code when he handed down his sentence. That prompted members of Berwick’s family to question outside the court whether the law acts as a deterrent.

Berwick’s family is urging the Crown to appeal the sentence, arguing that it isn’t long enough

Monday, February 01, 2010

Angler fined and banned

Angler fined and banned

BARRIE - A Mississauga resident was fined $2,650, banned from fishing for one year and had his fishing rod forfeited to the Crown, after being found guilty of fishing offenses at the Barrie City Marina.

Jan Wilczak admitted to transporting unlawfully taken fish, and attempting to use another person’s fishing licence, contrary to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. He was also found guilty of fishing without a licence contrary to the Ontario Fishery Regulations.

A conservation officer conducted a fisheries inspection of Wilczak’s licence and catch at the Barrie City Marina on Oct. 31, 2009. The fishing licence he produced that day was his son’s. His own fishing licence had expired the year before.

Wilczak was found with 62 yellow perch caught that day. A sport fishing licence would have allowed him to catch and retain only 50 yellow perch from Lake Simcoe.
Justice of the Peace Guy Maurice heard the case at the Ontario Court of Justice, Barrie, on Jan. 18, 2010.

Fishing limits are in place to ensure healthy fish communities, so anglers and other users may enjoy the resource in the future officials say.

For information regarding fishing limits, consult the 2010 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary available, which can be viewed here.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll free any time or contact the Midhurst District office at 705-725-7500 during regular business hours. Crime Stoppers can also be called anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

High waters can put a new face on local fishing spots

High waters can put a new face on local fishing spots

Well, I'm still alive. The Old Coot hasn't given me too much heat for teasing him about outfishing me on the Bay of Quinte two weeks ago and I survived the flooding waters that passed

through the Cobourg area earlier this week.

Weren't they something to behold? Not since the flood of 1980 have I seen anything like that in our neck of the woods. Ahh, things of beauty, they were. Both of them -- at least in my mind.

Now before I go any further, I feel very sorry for the people whose homes were flooded out and all the damages the high water levels caused and created. No-one deserves that.

I would hope that, although they can never recover lost memories such as pictures and family treasures, they have insurance to cover all the material possessions not included in those precious mementos. It must be pure hell to see that water welling up and not be able to do anything about it.

On the other hand, though, I have to admit I like it when high waters sweep through our area, causing some high

water levels. Not to the point where they wreck people's homes. Not at all. I just like the fact they alter, and in some cases, completely change, the stream banks in the tributaries that feed into Lake Ontario.

These fast-moving waters create new holes and bends in streams that will hold rainbow, brown and speckled trout later in the year, provide new spawning sites for these fish and open up new angling opportunities for stream anglers in the hotter months to come. New undercut banks, riffles, back eddies; all of these are trout anglers' dreams come true come open water season.

I, for one, am not complaining about this recent flood. Then again, I was fortunate enough to not be one of those who were affected by it.

On the ice fishing scene... what scene?

Across much of Ontario, huts are dropping through the ice (see Lake Simcoe for more details), the snow is so deep there is very limited action (see Bancroft / Apsley / Cardiff / Kaladar areas) and just generally scary ice conditions (Kawarthas / Scugog) and just venturing out is life risking.