Recreational angler sentenced for illegally fishing in Rockfish Conservation Area near Nanaimo

News release

May 17, 2023

Nanaimo, B.C. - The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canada’s fisheries resources, and the habitat that supports them, for generations to come. Fishery officers work hard to conserve and protect the environment by enforcing the Fisheries Act. Obstructing fishery officers on duty, or failing to provide required information and documentation, are serious and potentially costly offences.

On April 5, 2023, in Nanaimo Provincial Court, Colin (Richard) Wood, a recreational angler, was found guilty of several Fisheries Act violations and fined a total of $6,000. The fines are primarily for obstructing a fishery officer by throwing fish overboard ($2,500), making false or misleading statements to a fishery officer ($2,500), and over-possessing Chinook Salmon ($1,000). Additionally, Mr. Wood’s fishing gear was forfeited as evidence, and he is prohibited from engaging in various fishing activities for one year.

On August 31, 2022, during a routine vessel patrol, fishery officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)’s Nanaimo Conservation and Protection Detachment observed a vessel seemingly fishing inside the Northumberland Channel Rockfish Conservation Area, located south east of Snake Island and along the western coast of Gabriola Island. As the officers approached, they saw Mr. Wood throwing away fish. They also found evidence of freshly killed fish on his vessel. When questioned, Mr. Wood denied fishing, disposing of fish, or acknowledging that he was in an RCA.

DFO asks the public for information on any illegal activities that may contravene the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call DFO Pacific region’s toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336, or email

Additional multimedia

Mr. Wood’s fishing boat – image entered as evidence during the trial
Mr. Wood’s fishing boat – image entered as evidence during the trial

Quick facts

  • Fishery officers promote compliance and respond to priority issues through a combination of water, air, and land patrols both day and night. Fishery officers also work on complex and large investigations, as well as education and awareness activities.

  • RCAs are established throughout the British Columbia coast to prevent further declines to rockfish populations. Within RCAs, inshore rockfish are protected from all mortality associated with recreational and commercial fisheries.

Associated links


Media Relations, Pacific Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada,

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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