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

87-year-old Salmon Arm woman sinks hole-in-one

The Aug. 12 ace is Helen Bobbitt’s fourth.

Shuswap dragon boaters honour teammate’s cancer-fighting accomplishments

Friends Abreast team provides special recognition outside Salmon Arm hospital

Invasive mussel monitoring stations detect 10 boats

Boats were headed to Okanagan and Thompson regions

Collisions with a barrier, a deer and a tree demand Chase RCMP’s attention

Transport truck shreds tires along concrete barrier on Highway 1 east of Kamloops

Salmon Arm’s first Bitcoin ATM installed in mall

The kiosk will allow people to buy cryptocurrency or sell it for cash.

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Piano set up in Penticton downtown

Initiative an effort to bring music and creativity to the streets

Man who drove into music festival crowd sentenced to 14 months in jail

Several people seriously hurt during event held near Princeton

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Vandals put Vernon public piano out of play

Downtown instrument destroyed, but public project is not over

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation on racism

Incidents in July prompt calls for dialogue

Westside wildfire human caused

Blaze started as a house fire and spread to the bush

Summerland working to reopen recreation facilities

Arena and pool are opening, but ball season will not proceed

Most Read