Low, warm water stresses river life

Our Executive Director, Lois Corbett, spoke with the Fredericton Daily Gleaner in late July about the unusually low water level of some of New Brunswick’s rivers this summer.

The Gleaner’s Michael Staples reports that stream flows in June were below normal across most of the province, with southern watersheds recording less than 45 per cent of normal flows, according to data from the New Brunswick Water Resource Report. (Data for July is not yet available).

Marieka Chaplin of the Nashwaak Watershed Association told Staples that the Nashwaak was unusually low for July, with their monitoring marking the water temperature as high as 24 C. “That’s pretty high for this time of year,” Chaplin said, noting that low flow leads to warmer water and added stress on organisms that live in the water, including the endangered Atlantic salmon, which are stressed in temperatures above 21 C.

Corbett told Staples that low water levels can also exacerbate the growth of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, which has been responsible for the deaths of several dogs in recent years who came in contact with cyanobacteria along the St. John/Wolastoq River

“We see ramifications of low water levels trickle out to all aspects of society, including nature,” Corbett said. 

Read the full story here.