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
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.