It's more than Chinook and whales!!

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by Fishmyster, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    My local stream keepers has been monitoring PH, bugs ect for a very long time. Salmon populations have been relatively stable in the creek for the past 50 years, Chum, Coho and cutthroat trout. Chinook smolts also use it as habitat but it does not have a Chinook population, The smolts are from other systems.

    Altho it has tea colored water and i believe you mention that this water is more productive???
     
  2. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    Tea colored water indicates dissolved organic carbon. There are some studies indicating that DOC helps detoxify heavy metals. It can keep pH from changing too much and make it more consistently low or below 7pH. Possibly the consistently low pH allows heavy metals to pass thru the waterway rather than precipitate for years in high alkaline soils to be released in a higher concentration during a high acidic input event that pushes the alkalinity over the edge. That effect in theory should be less common as the rain pH is now averaging 6 rather than 4.5 for many years.
    Geology especially limestone and filtration is what will buffer the acidic rain unless hydrogen ion or amount of rain is too great for the soils and stream to treat. I don't think tea colored streams are more productive rather they are just more consistent and some haven't suffered the die off that others have. If Chinook fry are attracted into your creek it is a good indicator of the lack in supporting ecology in the streams they are coming from. Interestingly some tea colored streams on the north island have not been able to hold their ecology like Nahwitti, Keough, Quatse...ect. There are few small tea colored streams on the coast with limestone thru out the stream beds which haven't died off like the rest. I have also witnessed some small streams with hot spring influence that have significantly more life than neighboring streams.
    Similar occurrence to your little local stream is happening here on the Stamp river. Some of the small feeder streams have rebounded to support some invertebrates. One of them even has snails now! As these streams enter the main Stamp river all the life stops and none of the invertebrates live in the main system water. Some of the answers to salmon productivity decline are sitting right there but none of the science institutes care to put their boots on the ground even for an hour to come and see what is going on.
     
    StirItUp and wildmanyeah like this.
  3. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    How about Fogged in, AA or California. Was looking forward you guys commenting on this mater? Do you think this might be effecting our salmon and steelhead populations?
     
  4. california

    california Well-Known Member

    I don't have much doubt that some of the processes you describe in detail effect the salmon and steelhead populations. Not just terrestrial acidification from rainwater but the ocean acidification ocurring secondarily to increased atmospheric co2 levels. I think it reduces the carrying capacity of the environments. On land perhaps the end to widespread clear cutting will help trees grow back and slow the runoff rates, allowing more buffering of water entering streams, but even relatively pristine streams in places like the Olympic national park have seen big salmon declines. Not much we can do about atmospheric CO2 levels. It is my belief we need to improve the habitat, which will help improve carrying capacities within what my be an environment where past productivity potential may never be fully restored. Certainly there are examples of vastly improved salmon populations in response to these efforts. The Cowichan, which seems to not be producing historic numbers of invertebrates and insects, nonetheless has seen vastly improved salmon returns in response to habitat and water flow improvements. An underlying poor invertebrate environment can still produce more fish by improving habitat.
     
  5. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your input.
    I'm confused as to how rising co2 is having negative effects on the salmon populations or freshwater productivity?
    In the case of the Cowichan It is my belief that improvements in water flow and habitat are helping some species of invertebrates rebound which feeds the juvenile salmon creating a healthier run. More water alone would not put food in the mouths of juvenile salmon.
    Do you think I am wasting my time trying to bring awareness to the lack of invertebrates and trying to get water chemistry to be part of salmon enhancement?
     
  6. california

    california Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I was referring more to ocean productivity on that point, probably wasn't clear.

    I don't think you are wasting your time, the effort you have put in to understand these issues and the dynamics of how they work is impressive. For me was a lot of explaining the science and that without improved water chemistry nothing else matters. Of all the possible actions that could be taken for enhancement which do you believe would have the biggest impacts on water chemistry? . I've read a lot of your posts but have never really got a take home message of what the top actions are that might improve water chemistry.
     
  7. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    Considering that protected and undeveloped parks have equally depleted insects or ecology as other developed areas. Stream rehabilitation efforts from decades ago did not noticeably improve long term salmon productivity in fact things got worse. Big Qualicum river has been masterfully designed to create a structurally and hydrographicly perfect stream environment yet natural productivity fell off the charts. I grew up fishing there and witnessed a total sterilization of the water in the late 1980's-1990. So despite all the stream rehab efforts they did not counteract or address what has been happening since the great decline. I am not confident more will do much either.
    I feel it long past time to science the shit out of this! There are resources to use if they could work together. From my experience water treatment would go much farther that structural enhancement. Finding the root cause for the ecology degradation and looking for innovative way to counteract the forces causing it. First would be acceptance of what is happened environmentally, "which seems to be a challenge", then start from the bottom up while trying to properly identify and correct what is restricting life from flourishing.
    I found a link a while back where an environmental advocacy group was applying to construct a water treatment facility for an acidified stream in New York. Their plan was to either use a marsh area or construct a flume type structure that could be loaded with calcium carbonate. A portion of the stream could flow thru the facility to increase alkalinity and down stream alkalinity values could be controlled by the floe thru rate. This was something I had considered but like most things someone out there has already thought of it first. It was a brilliant idea they has proposed but their local ministry denied them the permit to forward the project. This would be a great way to treat water and reintroduce bacteria and invertebrates to a waterway when natural water quality conditions exceed perameter thresholds and harm ecology.
    You thoughts?
     
  8. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    A simple question, not a criticism. What can we do to to reverse the situation. Practical and simple solutions that could be implemented?
     
  9. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    California.....what streams are you talking about in the OP?
     
  10. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    Nothing is simple about any of this! From my observations it appears to be getting better. I have been finding invertes in streams where there have been none for over twenty years but not in all. Today I got my lowest rain pH reading this fall at 5.5pH where it has been averaging 6 so still appearing good there. My pH and alkalinity readings in the Stamp yesterday were pH6.9 alkalinity 22ppm. Despite all the rain that is far better than samples from 1995 where pH varied lots and alkalinity averaged 14ppm. The water quality trend and precipitation pH along with my stream observations indicate, in theory, we are going to see major improvements in freshwater productivity over the next few years. It is just not happening as fast as I hoped. Biological indicators being algae, decomposition and invertebrates are indicating that sulfate and whatever compounds which fell out of the sky in the past has been flushed out of many systems with more porous soils. Unfortunately there must be residual sulfate still in larger lakes and areas with deeper soils as streams like Stamp and Sproat are weak for ecology. Taylor river and the other cheeks around Sproat lake do show great signs of rebuilding ecology. Streams down the inlet toward Bamfield do look better too. Areas of the interior drainages may take longer to flush out being drier climate or possibly the higher alkaline soils will stabilize pH fast keeping the naturally higher levels of heavy metals there from being toxic. I wish I could know more! I do know that any heavy metals that have dissolved and flowed down our streams eventually goes to the ocean where it precipitates in the higher pH water. How long it will have negative effects there is anyone's guess.
    For now....The collapse in global insects and ecology is real!!! It is here and I have been watching it for my whole life. Now is a good time to start figuring out what it is exactly that has killed off ecology. If I am right, great the future looks better. If I am wrong, then we better figure it out soon or all of the natural world is going for a shit!!! It's a worth while mission.
    I would say no time like the present to start monitoring and researching from the bottom up in ecology. Testing for water quality, nitrifying bacteria, micro invertebrates and macro invertebrates in salmon streams to see if supporting ecology is in order would be a start. If ecology is lacking then identifying when and why it is restricted needs to be determined. If a toxic event from storm water runoff carrying dissolved heavy metals causing the harm and base flows tests appear stable or acceptable then reintroducing ecology after the event may be all that is necessary just like in a bleached aquarium of septic tank. If alkalinity has been washed out and base flow waters are too soft for ecology then limestone in headwaters could correct this. There are all kinds of electronic real time water quality test equipment available now and water quality testing doesn't need to be as expensive as it once was. I believe if new technics for restoring naturel salmon productivity can be devised there would be no need for hatcheries in the future and enhancement could be more economical.
     
  11. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    Pat, I haven't heard back. Was wondering what you thought? When you say practical and simple where you thinking regulations made from a desk?
     
  12. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

  13. part time

    part time New Member

    I may have missed it, however I see no comment on the use of UV protection in sun block .. many countries have blocked the use of this additive to protect their marine populations (specifically coral reefs)
    At the very least UVA /UVB and oil based sun screen should be banned in all waterways ..
     
  14. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    Been away skiing, so not very accessible to internet. Was wondering if there are practical ways to lower ph with additives to water for example? Monitoring just tells us the trends and if there is something alarming...what can we do to address unhealthy spikes?
     
  15. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    Hope you had fun skiing!!
    Truckloads of limestone in the headwaters of streams would help stabilize pH. It is the streams with reasonable amounts of limestone that haven’t died off as bad. Just like gardening here on the west coast. The right amount of lime is needed to have a successful garden.
     
  16. Powerset

    Powerset Active Member

    This is trying to feed a planet of almost 7 billion people and limit the damage we’re doing to this planet in the process. Industrial scale fishing globally for profit has to end. Immediately. It won’t, so we’re spending billions in tax dollars to replenish fish stocks globally so corporations can earn billions from pillaging our oceans. Doesn’t make much sense does it? These fish belong to all of us, not governments not corporations!
     
  17. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Saw this today and thought of you! @Fishmyster

    http://www.nssalmon.ca/projects_programs/acid-rain-mitigation-project

    Acid Rain Mitigation Project

    https://www.facebook.com/West.River.Acid.Rain.Mitigation.Liming/

    The combined effects of acid rain and low marine survival are hastening the extirpation of all but a small number the Southern Upland salmon stocks.

    The Nova Scotia Salmon Association has initiated an ambitious project to restore one of the rivers damaged by acid rain. The West River was selected as the site for the demonstration Project through an extensive review exercise carried out by the NSSA's Acid Rain Mitigation Committee (ARMC), comprised of representatives from NSSA, ASF, Trout Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Power (EMERA), and both federal and provincial governments. The ARMC's exercise was guided by a report that detailed plans for liming 4 of the Southern Upland rivers. The report was contracted by the NSSA and prepared by Dr. Atle Hindar, a leading Norwegian researcher on liming strategies to combat acid rain effects.

    The focus of the Project is the main stem of the West River system. The liming is conducted using a single doser, operated year-around. The Project mitigates the high acidity affects on about ¼ of the West River system's habitat that was once utilized by salmon. The treated habitat offers the potential to produce about 10,000 wild smolts and is sufficiently large to provide a natural refugee for a wild salmon population. Brook trout production is also significantly enhanced.

    The dosing plant we utilized is the Norwegian-manufactured Kemira Kemwater lime system. This system is widely utilized in Norway. The Project has a minimum life span of 10 years (i.e., 2 salmon life cycles). This term may be extended if water quality fails to improve sufficiently to sustain salmon reproduction and if no alternative action is warranted as a result of technology change.

    The Project will be supported by an extensive monitoring program to track changes in water chemistry, fish species composition and abundance, and invertebrate community structure. The Project also receives support from and provide assistance to other efforts to determine the effectiveness of different mitigation methods. In addition to monitoring, regular reporting and communications activities occur during the life of this project.
     
  18. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    So not everyone in Canada is oblivious to the effects of rain pH on stream productivity!! I did find the NSSF web site a couple years ago when they were complaining about DFO's removal of water quality monitoring and acid mitigation studies. Looks like NSSF has realized years ago that pH and bottom up ecology is important to successful salmon productivity. Good to see them continue research and efforts even though DFO has retracted their involvement.
    For now PSF seems to have no interest in stream ecology or pH and won't listen to anyone who tries to enlighten them of how these same issues are effecting B.C. salmon populations. Water quality and invertebrate structure must be too complex for them out here in B.C.!!
    Wonder what AA has to say about this? pH doesn't effect ecology in B.C. streams??
     
  19. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

    Now you mention that, no he hasn't much. Hope he's ok.
    AA I take it back. I can appreciate not wanting to argue on the net with someone who never gives up! Hope all is well.
     
  20. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Well-Known Member

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