One of the many dead fish that ringed the shore of Niskonlith Lake on July 6. (Steven Hepworth/Facebook)

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

A warm July day for campers and swimmers at Niskonlith Lake was interrupted by dozens of dead fish washed up on the shore and floating in the shallows.

On July 6 Richelle Marie was one of several campers and picnickers at the lake near Chase who noticed the dead fish. She said a dead beaver was floating in the lake as well. She asked a park ranger about the state of the lake and they said fisheries authorities had been notified and would investigate.

Read More: Transport truck driver ticketed after rear-ending semi, closing Highway 1 in Shuswap

Read More: Automated phone scam targets Shuswap residents

Doing some of her own investigation into the bizarre phenomenon, Marie heard from a conservation officer that the deaths of the fish could be related to lake turnover. The turnover is a process caused by the seasonal change in water temperature. According to natural geographic the density of the water changes along with its temperature and so layers of lake water can move to different depths.

Most of the dead fish along the shore of the lake appeared to be kokanee salmon, a species known for their sensitivity to changes in water temperature. According to bcfishn.com, the fish, which are a common target for anglers, spend the warmer months of the year at depths where the warmer surface water and colder water below meet. Disruption in temperature at those depths can be harmful or even lethal to the kokanee, particularly when the water climbs above approximately 12.8C.

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

Read More: Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

A Department of Fisheries and Oceans representative presented another possible explanation for the dead fish: an oxygen depletion issue. According to the United States Geological Survey, the concentration of dissolved oxygen in water is inversely related to water temperature. Bacteria in water can also consume oxygen.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fishing

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

Just Posted

Morning Start: High heels were first designed for men

Your morning start for Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Class resumption raises challenges for Central Okanagan schools

Education ministry directive to resume K-12 classes Sept. 8 creating many questions

Bear put down after being found on Vancouver Island kitchen counter

Bear trapped and killed near Ucluelet after repeated instances of entering sheds and homes

‘We’re glad you’re here’: Positive note left on Alberta car at Kelowna beach

‘Our hearts are full, and this restores all sorts of faith in humanity’

Kelowna RCMP search for missing teen

Reina Hodgins was last seen Aug. 9, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. at her residence

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Second phase of NHL draft lottery set for Monday

Each club eliminated from qualifying round has a 12.5 per cent shot at the No. 1 pick

University of Victoria, rowing coach sued over alleged ‘fat shaming’ and verbal abuse

Lawsuit says Barney Williams subjected coxswain Lily Copeland to offensive and belittling language

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

Most Read