Conservation Officer History



Historical Images Gallery
Deceased Ontario Conservation Officer List
List of Ontario Conservation Officers 1892-1951


Milestones in the History of Natural Resources Enforcement in Ontario

  • 1892 Ontario Board of Game and Fish Appointed a chief game warden and 4 part time game wardens, included with that were 392 deputy wardens.  They had no uniform and the annual salary was $120.00 increased to $400.00 in 1894
  • 1898 Ontario assumed jurisdiction over the fisheries and hired 94 fishery overseers to enforce the fisheries laws
  • 1903 The sale of game and fish is prohibited, a radical move that saves bass and muskellunge for sport fishing
  • 1920 60 Overseers under the Department of Game and Fish
  • 1930 First Uniform introduced to Wardens
  • 1947 177 Full-time officers under the new division of Fish and Wildlife
  • 1948 Wardens/Overseers first named Conservation Officers
  • 1960 First Aboriginal Conservation Officer appointed
  • 1980 First female Conservation Officer appointed
  • 1986 Special Investigations Unit formally established
  • 1990 Canine Services Unit formally established (first K9 service dog) named Shadow in Sudbury
  • 1991 New compliance policy branch was established and DNA fingerprinting was accepted by the courts for the first time in a poaching trial
  • 1992 Ontario Conservation Officers celebrate 100 years 1892/1992
  • 1998 First CO appointment under a First Nation funded partnership
  • 2006 Enforcement Branch expanded to include all field operations
  • 2011 Compliments and Complaints Process Instilled in Enforcement Branch with Reporting protocols to the public
  • 2017 Ontario Conservation Officers celebrate 125 Years 1892/2017


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