Conservation officers investigating illegally blocked creek

·2 min read
Conservation Officers are asking for the publics help to find whoever made this alteration to Meridian Creek earlier this month.  (Submitted by Troy Hilts - image credit)
Conservation Officers are asking for the publics help to find whoever made this alteration to Meridian Creek earlier this month. (Submitted by Troy Hilts - image credit)

Saskatchewan's Conservation Officer Service is looking for whoever illegally forced gravel and rock into Meridian Creek earlier this month, altering the waterway and disturbing the ecosystem.

The service says that "someone using heavy equipment" blocked the waterway south of Creighton, Sask., just off of Highway 167 sometime between July 9 and 15.

Troy Hilts, an inspector with the service, says it's a serious violation, especially as a major fish-bearing waterway.

"We do take this very seriously … what this does is it affects their migration, their food source, shelter and breeding grounds" he said. "This, in turn, affects [the] health and population of fish species, whether it's game fish or smaller fish."

The creek goes through several fish-bearing creeks to end up in Amisk Lake.

Hilts isn't certain what the intentions were of whoever blocked the creek, but says it could be an effort to adjust water levels.

Submitted by Troy Hilts
Submitted by Troy Hilts

"We haven't really had anything very similar to this in our area, in the north … they do happen time to time, but it's something that's pretty new to us up here for sure," he said.

The Conservation Service is asking for information to lead them to those responsible, offering a cash reward of up to $2,000 for tips that lead to an arrest or conviction.

Regulations under the Environmental Management and Protection Act prohibit altering the banks or boundary around a waterway and permit summary convictions that could come with up to $1 million in fines or three years in jail, or both.

CBC News
CBC News

Hilts says the service would be seeking restitution to remediate the waterway, but won't know the cost until the Saskatchewan Water Service Agency surveys the damage.

The bed hasn't been fixed yet, but Hilts is hoping it's done soon.

"This area is a creek, so generally when spawning happens it can be in the spring or the fall," he said. "Being in July, it's not critical."

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