08/31/2015 15:24 EDT | Updated 08/31/2016 01:12 EDT

Hunters, fishers who kill illegally to face higher fines in Manitoba

WINNIPEG — Anyone convicted of illegally killing a wild animal or fish in Manitoba will now face stiffer penalties.

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Tom Nevakshonoff announced today that the new fines are in addition to fines imposed through court.

As well, fines for killing big game in a conservation closure area double, which could be as high as $10,000.

Penalties also escalate in the case of master angler fish; for example, it would be $1,008 for a master angler Lake Sturgeon.

The fines don't apply to anyone legally exercising a treaty or aboriginal right to hunt or fish.

Restitution does not apply to commercial fishers where the current administration system allows for quota deductions and other penalties such as licence suspensions.

 "This new law will not bring back wildlife harvested illegally but restitution will support programs that work to ensure sustainable wildlife populations remain in our province for generations to come," Nevakshonoff said in a news release.

Brian Strauman, president of the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, said his group is pleased with the new law.

"Our members support responsible hunting and we support the idea that wildlife has such value," Strauman said in a release.

Some of the new fines are $1,00 to $3,000 for white-tailed deer; $2,500 to $10,000 for elk and moose; $2,000 to $4,000 for black bear; $42 to $126 for fish such as walleye, northern pike, goldeye and channel catfish (high values for master angler size); and $252 for a lake sturgeon (protected species).

The Canadian Press