August 21, 2006

Edmonton resident fined for harming lakeshore fish habitat

CALGARY, ALTA-An Edmonton resident was ordered to pay a penalty of $5,500.00 after pleading guilty to a violation of section 35(1) under the federal Fisheries Act which prohibits "the harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat." Nick Derose was charged after an investigation by the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) revealed that he had carried out works at his lakefront property, on Pigeon Lake near Summerset Point, between June 28, 2001 and October 16, 2003 without Fisheries Act authorization. Areas of emergent and riparian shoreline had been cleared and replaced with sand and dirt. These riparian and littoral zones fulfill many ecological needs for fish and fish habitat. Pigeon Lake contains several valuable sport and commercial fish species and provides prime habitat for these species, among them northern pike, walleye and yellow perch. Before charging Derose, DFO staff had met with him both on-site and off-site in an unsuccessful effort to remediate the damages. The court ordered 90% of the fine to be directed to DFO for restoration, enhancement and monitoring of fish habitat in Alberta. In addition to the fine, Derose has also been directed to submit post-remediation assessments of the actions taken each year until 2009. If necessary, he will be required to take further remedial action as well.

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