EDITORIAL: Too dry for fish

Sure the weather has been fantastic, but at what price?

It’s been a July to remember in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Beach Day, Beachfest and a host of other events have been well-attended and enjoyed under sunny, warm skies.

A day at the beach, a bike ride, a walk, a ball game, a dip in the pool or some weeding in the garden — it’s been a gorgeous summer to do most everything one enjoys.

Our daily high temperatures for July have averaged 25 C. Even the palest of us is showing tan lines. And not a drop of rain.

That’s where the fun stops and things become serious. Our thanks to Streamkeepers’ Faye Smith for bringing our attention to the scary side of all this nice weather. Our heads have been in the sun, but all this bright heat isn’t a good thing for all creatures who call our region home.

The creek and rivers are drying up. Not a good thing if you are a fish. Smith says the low water levels in streams are leaving the coho fry and cutthroat trout that live there at risk of predation in shallow pools or disease from high water temperatures.

Streamkeepers does its part, that’s for certain. For example, the group plants trees and shrubs to provide cover and cool areas for the fish.

We agree with Smith when she says Parksville Qualicum Beach residents can do something to help the situation, or at least perhaps lessen the effect of this desert-like July — conserve.

Smith said ground water and surface water are connected and all part of the ecosystem, so no matter where you get your water (community systems, wells, streams), your efforts to conserve are important.

Does your lawn really need to be watered? It’s a personal preference, of course, but we have noticed many people in the region have chosen to let their lawn go dry and brown.

Aside from lawn-sprinkling measures, there are a number of little things you can do around the home that can save a lot of water, like running the washer only when you have a full load, or using a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway. Check out www.wateruseitwisely.com for more tips.

Fish have brought so much life to this Island, and have been doing so long before any European settlers were here. We should give some effort to help them in their time of need.

— Editorial by John Harding