A YouTube video showing an Alberta man driving a large truck through the North Saskatchewan River has led to an $800 fine.

"The video was critical, because the licence plate was visible," said Kathy Kiel, who speaks for Alberta's Department of Sustainable Resource Development.

Ryan Halyk, 32, was charged under the province's Forests Act for driving on trails that are maintained for off-highway vehicles by local volunteer associations. The trails can be damaged by large trucks, said a release from the department.

The river is also home in the fall to spawning mountain whitefish and bull trout, and their eggs and habitat can be damaged by vehicles.

The four-minute video was shot on the 2009 Labour Day weekend and posted on Sept. 21. Provincial staff became aware of the video in October, and it has since been taken down.

"It's the first time the Lands Division of Sustainable Resource Development has used social media to gather evidence and lay charges," said Kiel.

Halyk pleaded guilty to operating an on-highway vehicle within a "forest land use zone" in provincial court in Rocky Mountain House on March 17.

He was also assessed a $120 victim surcharge, a fee added to environmental fines aimed at compensating parties harmed by an offence.