The first incident was reported on July 26, 2012. Workers at the fish cages noticed that sometime during the previous night, someone cut a net containing approximately 25,000 rainbow trout fish and released them into the North Channel. The estimated worth of those fish was slated at $140,000.
Manitoulin OPP attended the scene and was able to obtain evidence including video surveillance. This investigation is continuing.
Then, on Aug. 22, 2012 workers from Cold Water Fisheries attended the cages at the same location at Eagle Rock in the North Channel and observed that another cage net was cut and damaged.
Approximately another 10,000 rainbow trout fish were released into the North Channel at a cost of $60,000.
This brings the amount lost to this company to the $200,000 mark — a major loss to this business and other businesses that rely on this harvest of fish for food supplies.
Police have attended and obtained further evidence including video.
Manitoulin OPP has launched a major investigation into these crimes and has called in the Northeast OPP Crime Unit to assist with these investigations.
Police are appealing to the public that if they have any knowledge of these crimes to call the Manitoulin OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Rainbow District Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Sudbury Rainbow Crime Stoppers is offering a guaranteed 1,000 reward for information on the identity of the suspect(s) or tips received before midnight on Sept. 4, 2012, if the information leads to an arrest.
The standard process for determining reward amounts will apply for tips received after the deadline.