The province confirms it is investigating alleged works done in Sicamous Creek by a neighbouring business.
Brennan Clarke, spokesperson with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, said the province is looking into allegations involving Waterway Houseboats and recent work that was done in the creek.
Richard Clegg that on Sept. 9, after a weekend of heavy rainfall, he and his neighbours who live near the creek witnessed Waterway personnel in the process of damming a portion of the creek where it had diverted and was heading toward the houseboat company’s property.
“At that point, we put a report in to the RAPP line (Report All Polluters) and Poachers,” through the recommendation of someone at the Columbia Shuswap Regional District,” says Clegg
Clarke says it is illegal under the B.C.’s Water Act to conduct work in and about a stream without a permit from the province.
“The possibility of Fisheries Act violations is also being assessed,” said Clarke.
Calls to Waterway Houseboats general manager Neil Millar were not returned.
Clegg agrees the creek’s diversion may have put Waterway’s property at risk. But he and his neighbours argue provincial and federal regulations still have to be followed in relation to fish-bearing streams.
“Regardless of whether they felt their property was at risk, they still have to follow the laws,” says Clegg, adding spawning salmon have since been seen in the creek.
This summer the province completed enhancement and restoration work in an upper portion in the creek in response to concerns identified during freshet. This was on top of the significant restoration and enhancement work done in the creek, including the mouth, following the June 23, 2012 debris flow.