HomeNewsIsland & CoastRoberts Creek man fined for damaging salmon habitat

Roberts Creek man fined for damaging salmon habitat

A Sunshine Coast man who disregarded DFO warnings while trying to prevent his cottage from flooding has been fined $70,000.

George Winkler lives in Roberts Creek. In 2020 he hired workers to dredge part of Stephens Creek, which flows through his property. After someone complained about the work, he was warned in person by a Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) officer that he was damaging salmon habitat, and couldn’t use machinery in the creek. Winkler told them he was making a berm to keep the creek from flooding his cottage.

In November 2021, after a severe rainstorm, DFO received a complaint that there was an excavator in the creek. The complainant provided evidence of a chum salmon apparently struggling to swim up the creek. DFO launched a biological survey and found that 80 chum salmon eggs had been destroyed by dredging.

Winkler pled guilty to two Fisheries Act violations and was handed $70,000 in fines in Sechelt Provincial Court.

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