• Hans Wittwer v. Regional Wildlife Manager

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:


    Decision Date: November 6, 2000

    Panel: Carol Quin

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 24, 53, 58, 61; Angling and Scientific Collection Regulation – ss. 11, 13, Schedule A; guided angler day quota; angler guide licence

    This was an appeal by Hans Wittwer of a decision of the Regional Manager to refuse to issue Mr. Wittwer a quota of 100 guided angler days on the classified portion of the Chilko River. Mr. Wittwer, who recently purchased the Chilko River Lodge, submitted that a 100-day quota belongs to the Lodge, as this quota was originally issued to the owner of the Lodge, and was intended to allow the existing business to continue fishing operations when the quota system first came into effect. Mr. Wittwer further submitted that the 100-day quota currently held by Mr. Betz, who was the previous manager of the Lodge, should be transferred back to the Lodge in accordance with the purchase agreement. Mr. Wittwer also noted that Mr. Betz is no longer using the quota, nor is he operating in accordance with his approved operation plan. The Regional Manager submitted that a quota must be held by a natural person, and that he has no authority to force the transfer of a quota from one guide to another. The Regional Manager further noted that the demand for guided angler day quotas on the Chilko River currently exceeds the limit prescribed by regulation, and that all of the current applications, including Mr. Wittwer’s, must be assessed using the normal procedure for allocating quotas.

    The Board found that an angler day quota is only to be held by a natural person, and not a corporate entity. The Board also found that there is no legal means for the Regional Manager to directly allocate a 100-day quota to Mr. Wittwer. In particular, the Board agreed that the Regional Manager does not have the authority to force the transfer of a quota from one guide to another, and that it is not up to the Regional Manager to enforce a condition of the purchase agreement between Mr. Wittwer and the previous owner of the Lodge. The Board found that the Regional Manager is in the process of ascertaining whether Mr. Betz. is operating in accordance with his operation plan. The Board noted that if the Regional Manager decides to cancel Mr. Betz’s quota, the guided angler days would revert back to the Crown for reallocation and, as such, there is no authority to directly allocate these days to Mr. Wittwer. Accordingly, the Board found that the Regional Manager did not err in refusing Mr. Wittwer’s application. The appeal was dismissed.