Fish Scientist Carl Walters Says Mine Spill Won't Affect Sockeye

Adrian Lee

Macleans, August 7, 2014

“It does not look likely that the Quesnel sockeye run, which until recently was one of the largest in the Fraser system, will be impacted by the spill.  The Quesnel Lake’s about 100 kilometres long, and the tailings came in near the outlet, the last 10 kilometres. The water turns over really quickly. In that area of the lake it will move out in about five days, so some of it should actually be reaching the Quesnel River by now. It won’t take long for it to get carried out of the system, and most of it will get carried out. As well, it’s being diluted into a large volume of Quesnel Lake surface water, by at least 99 per cent, and most of the contaminated water will move out of the lake into the Quesnel River. The toxicity of these chemicals is not well known, so we cannot be sure that there will be no effect, but it is hopeful that the dilution will be sufficient to save the fish.”

5 Issues/yr — $25 print; $15 digital