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Salmon: The latest casualties of climate change – David Suzuki

by ahnationtalk on July 16, 2015475 Views

July 15, 2015

Guest blog by Mark Angelo, a river conservationist, writer, teacher and paddler who founded B.C. Rivers Day and World Rivers Day

The long stretch of hot, dry weather in B.C. this summer is great for outdoor recreation. It’s not so good, however, for local streams and the wildlife they support. I’ve spent lots of time in creeks close to my home in Burnaby in Metro Vancouver lately and I’ve never seen water levels so low this early in the summer. We’re already seeing conditions in many creeks that you would normally expect to see in late August.

In addition to low stream flows, we’re seeing disturbing increases in water temperatures. We started experiencing record highs in coastal water temperatures in fall 2014 and they’ve continued this year. The optimal water temperature range for both trout and salmon is 13 to 18 C, with temperatures above 20 creating stress for the fish. Our Burnaby creek temperatures are now between 21 and 22 C. The neighbouring Fraser River has been recording temperatures close to 20.

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