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

PHOTO: Abbotsford’s dashing first police constable

Police post throwback photo on their social media accounts

Traffic accident on Highway 1

Hour long backup from Abbotsford to Langley

VIDEO: Abbotsford driver uses aisle of bus for rainy-day cardio routine

Driver makes productive use of his break for an on-board walking session

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Memorial to deceased teen stays in place through Labour Day

Hundreds of tributes have been left at the Walnut Grove skate park

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

Most Read