A DArcy farmer was fined $2000 on Dec. 11 for damaging fish habitat for a species of trout listed as being at risk.
According to the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection Tibor Molnar dug out a tributary to East Phelix Creek between Aug. 30 and Sept. 20, 2000, stripping vegetation along the stream while prepping the land for agricultural use.
He was charged under the federal Fisheries Act and the provincial Water Act. He was convicted under the Water Act for making changes in and about a stream without authority. The Fisheries Act charges were stayed.
The East Phelix Creek drains into Birkenhead Lake near DArcy. The creek is important fish spawning and rearing habitat for fish, including the "blue-listed" bull trout. Blue-listed species are at risk because they are sensitive to habitat degradation caused by human activities and natural events.
Birkenhead Lake supports a recreation fishery, with an estimated 2000 anglers each year.
The fine will go towards the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, which funds projects that protect wildlife habitat in the province.