An 85-year-old tourist was recently caught fishing without a license by a diligent conservation officer. He had his fishing gear confiscated on the spot and was issued a fine for $270. While its good to know our conservation officers are doing their jobs, it’s just a pity they appear less diligent when it comes to chemical leaks causing a massive fish kill.
If a farmer sprays toxic chemicals on the land and it leaks into the river killing hundreds of fish and the many other life forms in the water, no farm equipment is confiscated or fines issued. Instead a long court case follows, the chemical leak is blamed on rainfall, and the farmer, well more often than not, he or she receives a slap on the wrist and a small fine. The 85-year-old tourist might have illegally taken a couple of fish home for his supper, while the farmer who was responsible for the death of hundreds of fish just goes back to doing what does.
F. Ben Rodgers,