4X4 driver fined after getting stuck in the lake

Vehicle got stuck in water at Stave.

Maple Ridge conservation officers know people like to zoom around in the mud on the banks of Stave Lake, way up north along Florence Lake Forest Service Road, near the Mission border.

They’re just asking people to keep their 4X4s and ATVs out of the water, or else they’ll get fined.

“It’s pretty clear for us, the way we enforce it, as well as with the RCMP, you just can’t go in the lake, or in any river or stream in the province. That is fairly common knowledge for the outdoor community,” said Maple Ridge conservation service officer Nicole Caithness on Wednesday.

“We’re just trying to make people aware, for the mud flats, it’s tolerated to be down there, but you can’t put any part of a quad or a Jeep in the actual water of the lake itself.”

To make their point, the conservation service slapped a motorist recently with a fine after her vehicle got stuck in the water.

Caithness explained that disturbing the shallow areas of a lake or stream can stir up mud and silt, making it hard for fish to spawn or breathe.

“That will actually drastically affect the water quality.”

The mud can choke out the eggs that may be laid nearby. Disturbing the water can also destroy plants or other animals which fish also rely on or introduce contaminants.

“So it can magnify its way up the food chain.”

She also wants people to know that conservation officers patrol the area. Violators face a minimum $575 fine or a court appearance.

• The public is encouraged to report any environmental or wildlife infractions to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277.

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Photo shows silt still stirred up an hour after Jeep got pulled out. (Contributed)

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