This photo shows a sturgeon found floating dead on Hatzic Lake earlier this week.

Concerns raised after two sturgeon found dead on Hatzic Lake

Concerns follow Fraser Health’s closure of lake to swimmers on July 31

Members of a website and Facebook page dedicated to the improvement of Hatzic Lake were particularly concerned this week after two sturgeon were found floating dead in the lake.

Photos of the sturgeon were posted Tuesday and then on Thursday– just days after Fraser Health announced it had closed the lake to swimmers after being notified about several concerning incidents.

Reports of algae “blooms,” discoloured water and dead fish were forwarded to the health agency by the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD).

The FVRD website indicated that some residents posted “symptoms of nausea, stomach cramps, itchy skin and eye irritation after swimming and participating in other recreational water activities on the lake.”

The agency announced on July 31 that it was closing the lake to swimmers.

Authorities are still conducting tests and trying to determine the exact cause of the issues.

Meanwhile, members of the Hatzic Lake Improvement Group – which has both a Facebook page and a website – are concerned that two dead sturgeons were found on the lake earlier this week.

“What’s next – the eagles (we have dozens here)? The osprey? The kingfishers? The huge beautiful otter I saw swim past me yesterday?” posted member Brent Hall.

Sturgeon are the largest and longest-living freshwater fish species in North America, growing up to six metres in length and living up to 100 years.

They are protected under the Species at Risk Act and may only be fished on a catch-and-release basis along the lower and middle portions of the Fraser River.

The Hatzic Lake Improvement Group is called for urgent action to determine what is causing the issues at the lake.

Hall said that tests have so far indicated a high level of phosphorous and nitrogen.

“This generally tends to mean pollution … and usually runoff from farm activity,” he said.

Hall surmises that the pollution is due to either “unsafe and dangerous farming practices or a polluter who has intentionally disposed of their chemicals into the creek.”

Hall said residents should demand “immediate action” to determine the source of the pollution and to receive information and solutions.

Anyone found responsible should be charged with a crime and penalized severely, he said.

Severe penalties should be put in place and enforced so that a situation like this never happens again, Hall said.

Hatzic Lake is located on the north side of the Fraser River, and shares a boundary with the District of Mission and FVRD’s electoral area F.

 

This photo shows a sturgeon found floating dead on Hatzic Lake on Thursday, Aug. 9.

Just Posted

Teacher receives reprimand after 2017 altercation with student

Gregory Norman Brock and a Grade 11 student had an altercation in a school gym.

RMMBA holds first training session of season in Maple Ridge

Players wore green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day

UPDATE: Location for more temporary supportive housing in Maple Ridge by end of week

Evacuation shelter now a night refuge only, then shuts for good March 31.

Getting dry in Maple Ridge, be careful

Two brush fires recently already

More condos sought for downtown Maple Ridge project

Seeking 20 per cent increase in number of units

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read