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

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

VIDEO: Asphalt plant protest takes place outside Mission City Hall

Group from Steelhead oppose proposed project, want public hearing reopened

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

World-renowned violinist to perform at Abbotsford prison

Gidon Kremer’s concert on Jan. 29 is part of Looking at the Stars’ program

Suspected dine-and-dasher who pulled gun on staff arrested by Abbotsford police

Police recognized man from description of neck and arm tattoos

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Deer carcass strung up at Surrey fire hall prompts investigation

Investigation underway following complaint a Surrey firefighter hung a deer carcass in a fire hall

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read