The provincial government in British Columbia has said it will take targeted action to support the salmon and trout on Vancouver Island from extreme drought conditions.
So far the huge fires which have been raging through parts of the Canadian province have not affected the seafood sector but the drought – rated at levels 4 to 5 in some areas, with 5 being the worst – has hit the fish population.
The Tsolum River has seen persistent low stream flows that are threatening the survival of salmon and trout. The fish-population protection order will help restore water flow levels and protect these fish species.
From Saturday some 45 surface and groundwater licence holders in the Tsolum River watershed must stop using water for forage crops, which include grass for hay, alfalfa and forage corn. Water use for industrial purposes, as outlined in the protection order, must also cease.
The order does not apply to water diverted and used for non-forage crops, such as market vegetables, livestock watering or domestic purposes. It also does not apply to water users that are supported by off-stream water storage…