When it rains and Hazeltine starts to run with a load of sediment it will ripple layer on the riparian zone and fill the gravel and rock crags in an ever increasing layer of muck that will then be subject to movement from ice, wind, rain and natural upwelling due to the natural temperature change caused movement of the water column. We definitely will see nothing as dramatic as when the dam burst and sent sediments across the lake, the problems will be more insidious and long term.
No doubt there are "natural" sediments that flow down into the lake from many creeks and they will also have a level of minerals in them. The problem with the sediments from the mine are obvious, they come from a mineral rich deposit with elements that in concentration are toxic. Sure the mine sediment comes from nature but it is out of balance due to our industrial activities so I would not call this a small insult to the system.
I will be very skeptical if the bc spin doctors get " technical experts" to say that the sediments from this dam burst disaster will actually "eventually enhance" the fishery instead of harm it, but I suspect this will become a safe theory to calm us "enviro nuts" and keep us in our place.
A very good friend of mine was an expert about the thermocline movements, insect habits, locations and wind changes near the creek mouths on Quesnel Lake but he died putting his waders on a few years back.
One thing about Quesnel Lake though is if you are in a small boat always stay close to shore and be prepared to find a safe landing area in a hurry if you fish that pond. It is safe with pontoon and small boats only if you are confident that the weather will remain calm. I have not been on it since the 1980s and back then we used a grumman 16 foot aluminum freighter canoe and it was a challenge for two people with paddles and a 5 horse Johnson! So be prepared to sit things out during windy periods. Most guides only use big boats on that lake to say the least.
Here is hoping that the flow of muck can be staunched and the disaster will not be a major long term fish kill for the lake. But on this issue I also will remain skeptical until I see the data over a few years. And this is precisely why monitoring of the entire habitat including down deep where fish die to maintain the food web cycle of the system is so important.
Last edited by Reeman; 08-12-2014 at 08:42 AM.
Any farmer knows that slamming the barn doors might just kill off all the chickens!
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