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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Just Posted

District of Mission promotes two new assistant fire chiefs

Nick Rychkun and Ian Glasgow bring over 40 years of experience to job

Three locations approved for Mission cannabis stores

Council gives its support to three of five applications

Imagination Library Fraser Valley celebrating Christmas in July

Dolly Parton early literacy intiative looking for financial support to help with waitlist

PHOTOS: Readers are proud of their cats

Abbotsford News asked people to share photos of their feline friends as part of National Kitten Day

Flood fears ease as Fraser River water levels begin to lower

Mission’s CAO says water level never rose above six metre mark

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read