January 14, 2014 - 4:08 PM
KAMLOOPS - Clearing of lakefront property owned by a high-profile father-son business duo disrupted the food supply for salmon and trout in Kamloops Lake, a court heard today.
A trial began yesterday in Kamloops provincial court for Father and son Bob and Tom Gaglardi, owners of Northland Properties Corporation. They each, along with the company, face two counts of harmful alteration of fish habit for charges stemming back to April 2010.
The Crown alleges the Gaglardi family cleared trees and shrubbery from about 600 feet of lakefront property on Kamloops Lake.
Marvin Rosenau, a fisheries instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, took the stand today to explain the relevance of the area in question. He classified the land as a ‘riparian’ area, linking water to land with a combination of water, trees, shrubs and grasses directly influencing and providing fish habitat.
Rosenau said fish are drawn to the area because of the lush and vibrant biodiversity. He called riparian areas some of the most biodiverse habitats anywhere on the planet. The provincial environment ministry protects these areas to maintain healthy fish populations.
“It’s a really rich habitat,” Rosenau said.
Kamloops Lake is a key resting spot for salmon. The shrubs and trees help to feed insects, which in turn feed the lake’s fish such as chinook, coho and rainbow trout.
“That’s the natural cycle,” he said. "That structure is very important."
Northland Properties is the parent company of the Sandman hotel chain and the Denny’s, Moxie’s and Shark Club restaurants. A Sandman Signature hotel is near completion in downtown Kamloops, expected to open this year at a date yet to be announced. Tom is also part owner of the local WHL hockey team the Kamloops Blazers and the NHL hockey team the Dallas Stars.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014