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

Dead salmon left to rot along the Fraser River angers sportfishing group

Found among the chum dumped on the gravel bar were endangered Thompson River steelhead

Halloween fun in Agassiz Harrison: check out the local spooks and scares

Bridal Falls, Kilby Historic Site, Agricultural Hall host family events

Are Chilliwack gas prices too high? Some say yes

The amount at the pumps has locals fuming over what they say are too-high gas prices

Annie Silver voted new director of Sasquatch Country – Area-C

Silver to take over role of director for Hemlock Valley, Harrison Mills, Lake Errock

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison voters on why they went to the polls

Spoiler alert: Most say voting is a civic duty

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

5 tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital has a few suggestions to keep Oct. 31 fun

B.C. man gets seven years in prison for baseball-bat attack on Kamloops teen

Kamloops man who beat Jessie Simpson into a coma has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He was originally charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

Cougar spotted after Vancouver Island resident finds his decapitated cat

Reports of conservation officers actively looking for the predator in Port Hardy Tuesday afternoon

Time running out for TV debate on proportional representation

B.C. Liberal leader spars with Premier John Horgan over timing

New rules introduced to protect B.C. foreign workers from exploitation

More than 16,000 temporary permits issued last year

Most Read