'We need rain': Low water levels impacting fish in southern N.B.
Published Friday, October 14, 2016 11:07AM ADT
Last Updated Friday, October 14, 2016 11:13AM ADT
Rivers and lakes are at an all-time low in southern New Brunswick, which is raising concerns about the impact on fish.
Those who fish in the area say the water is typically high this time of year, but due to little snowfall in the winter, combined with a hot, dry summer and lack of rain, rivers and lakes are low to the point of almost being dry.
“This year the water is at least four feet lower than normal,” says fisherman Mike Donovan. “Our fishing spots on the Kennebecasis for the big striped bass, well, they are not there because the water is too low. I’ve never seen it this low.”
Lee Robinson, interim director of the Hammond River Angling Association, says low water levels will have a great impact on fish.
“I know the general feeling amongst the people who are concerned about fish is that we need rain for the fish,” says Robinson.
“The lower the water is, the warmer it gets, and some of the fish, like the salmon, need that cold water and the oxygen levels that come with the cold water, so really, warm water temperatures can hurt the fish.”
Those concerns are echoed by Donovan, who has been fishing in the Kennebecasis and Hammond rivers for at least 40 years.
“I’ve never seen it this low at this time of year,” he says. “Traditionally, in the fall you get heavy rains.”
The low water levels are also impacting Saint John residents, who are being asked to conserve water.
Saint John is monitoring the city’s two surface water supplies and it has seen some recovery, but officials say levels are still too low.
As for Donovan, he says he will continue to go fishing, even if he doesn’t catch anything.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ashley Blackford