A pile of garbage was found on a side road off of Mercury Road, about 5km up the Babine Road in Burns Lake. Local resident Brian Hanson found a pile of salmon carcasses and other garbage left by unknown residents while taking his dog out for a run last week.
“It looked like bags of salmon and other store bought meat, there was a lot of plastic up there as well,” Hanson told Lakes District News. “I don’t think it’s right at all. I mean, there’s a garbage dump 2km away from where the trash was dumped and you literally drive past it to get there.”
Hanson and his friend Bernie Wall went back after initially finding the waste to clean it up themselves.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Hanson has found salmon carcasses left in the area. “Two years ago I found salmon still in their totes [a polyethylene container used for storing and preserving fish] up the same road in a pond off to the side,” he said. “My dog got infected from jumping in and rolling around in it. It’s disrespectful to the environment and to the community that enjoys the wildlife in the area. It’s just very disappointing.”
Lakes District News spoke to Burns Lake Conservation Officer Jeff Palm about the issue, who said that it’s a common occurrence. “It happens every year, I’ve been in burns lake 14 years now, and its a regular occurrence for people to dump fish that have spoiled. Very often whenever the transfer station [dump] is closed, and the gate is shut people dump their garbage off the road instead of taking it back home.”
Recreational salmon season at Babine Lake has been open as of Aug. 18 for all fishermen and will last until Sept. 15.
Palm also said that he regularly patrols the area and has ticketed people for dumping. The fine is $115 on the spot, and could be up to $2,000 if the case is taken to court.
“I haven’t been to the pile on Mercury Road, but I’ve been to several other piles of dumped salmon recently, and there was report of another pile recently as well,” Palm told Lakes District News. “Salmon is going to disintegrate, but the problem is that it also creates a situation where where a bear could be attracted to an area. Salmon is also something that’s not very easy to pinpoint the individual who is responsible.”
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