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Environment ministry seeks cause of dead fish on Kootenay Lake shore near Nelson

Long-time resident says the numbers are unusual
A dead fish near the Nelson airport on July 25. Several others were found within a five minute walk. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The Ministry of the Environment says it is investigating a proliferation of dead fish on the shores of Kootenay Lake in the Nelson area.

Nelson resident Nick Diamond says he first noticed dead fish at his sister’s house on Johnstone Road and then at his family property on the beach on the North Shore.

“It’s at a level that I’ve never seen,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to grow up on this beach and we would see the odd dead fish every spring and every summer. Hot summers especially. But not this long. Not this many.”

He said there have been dead fish in those locations for the past 10 days, with about five-to-15 new fish every day. He described most of them as suckers, with a few perch.

Diamond posted these sightings on Facebook and received many replies of similar sightings on shores near Nelson.

In an email, a ministry spokesperson told the Nelson Star that its staff are “actively investigating” the fish deaths.

“The exact cause is still being determined and we are waiting on final results for the oxygen, temperature and water chemistry samples.”

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Bill Metcalfe

About the Author: Bill Metcalfe

I have lived in Nelson since 1994 and worked as a reporter at the Nelson Star since 2015.
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