August 5, 2014 8:04 pm

Salmon dying due to severe drought of Vancouver Island river

VANCOUVER – The Cowichan River on Vancouver Island is experiencing its worst drought ever.

The river is down to 30 per cent of normal, making it tough for even the hardiest tubers to get down.

But the problem is much worse than that.

The salmon are dying as the water is too low and too warm for the fish to survive. There are plans to truck them upriver, but if no significant amount of rain falls in the next several weeks, the river may dry up by fall.

“We’re in a serious situation,” said Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins. “For our fisheries, for our communities, and that’s why all the purveyors of water have stepped up to the plate and put all our residents in the basin on stage 3 water restrictions. We all have to do our part to reduce the consumption, to ensure that there’s as much flow as possible in this river until the fall rains come.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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