High water temps killing fish

High water temperatures and low water levels might lead to angling restrictions on the Similkameen River.

Several fish kills caused by high temperatures in

the water have been reported along the Similkameen

River over the last few days.

The fish kills have prompted the Ministry of

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to

currently review conditions throughout the south

Okanagan, including the Similkameen River to see

if angling closures are required.

It’s unknown if or when angling restrictions

might be put in place, a spokesperson for the ministry

wrote to the Review in an email.

B.C. government fisheries biologists are monitoring

approximately 75 key angling streams, including

the Similkameen, across the province.

A Level 4 drought rating for Vancouver Island

and the Gulf Islands was announced July 3. Angling

in streams and rivers throughout southern Vancouver

Island and the Gulf Islands was suspended due to

ongoing low stream flows and warming water temperatures.

Lake fishing is not affected by the order. Angling

closures are enabled through the British Columbia

Sport Fishing Regulations of the federal Fisheries

Act.

Although residential, agricultural and industrial

users within municipalities and regional districts

backed by reservoir storage are less vulnerable to

water supply shortages than water users served by

smaller water systems from streams, lakes and wells,

all water users are encouraged to observe local water

conservation bylaws to prolong water supplies and

to maintain flows for fish and ecosystems.

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