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Know your mayor in Canada. Chicago Man Fined $5,000

by PoorFish

posted in Recreation and Sports : Fishing

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Recently a Chicago man was fined $5,000 for not knowing the mayor of Mississauga, Ontario. The man was fishing on Lac Seul in Canada when he was stopped for a routine boat inspection and asked to varnish his fishing license. The man, Wojciech Rzepka, showed an Ontario Outdoors Card that identified him as a resident of Mississauga. Wildlife officials noticed that something seemed odd and asked Rzepka who the Mayor of Mississauga was and he couldn't answer.


As a result of not knowing the mayor Rzepka's licenses was further examined and determined to be fraudulent. It may seem like not knowing the mayor is a poor way to prove if you live in a town but the mayor of Mississauga has been in office for over 30 years and is widely known across Ontario for her conservation and fishing efforts. The fines Rzepka received were $3,330 for an invalid license, $850 for fishing without a license, and $850 for making a false statement. Rzepka had been using the license since 1997. Fishing licenses for Canadian residents is $25 while visitor licenses are $50. Let this be a lesson to everyone that when you go fishing out of state or country to make sure that you follow the laws of the land and get proper licensing. Unfortunately, I think that Rzepka might have damaged the reputation of all US fishers in Canada.


I commend Canada for fining him but at the same time I wonder why it took so long for someone to figure out that his license was fake? He had been using the same card for 13 years someone should have noticed sooner. I think that wildlife departments should have handheld computers like the ones that some police officers carry so they can check with a central database to see if a license real or not. If we could reduce the amount of people fishing and hunting without a license more revenue would be available for conservation activities. With the increased revenue we would help to preserve the outdoors for everyone.


One report stated that Rzepka will pay the fine so he can continue to fish in the area. I think that Rzepka should defiantly pay the fine but I also think that since he was using a fake license for over a decade he should be banned from fishing in Canada for at least that amount of time. Fining someone teaches them a small lesson but I don't think in this case it is enough. Since he showed interest in continuing to fish in the area an ban would seem to be a more realistic punishment for Rzepka.


All in all if Rzepka would have followed the rules the first time he would have ended up paying less than $1,000 in licensing fees over the 13 year span. Let this be a lesson to all that you shouldn't try to trick wildlife officials because you'll only end up paying more and making news head lines for cheating people.


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