The Scoop: News that made headlines this week

Josh Piercey recaps the top news items from around the Okanagan-Shuswap region

Happy Earth Day!

Black Press Media’s Josh Piercey has got the rundown of the top headlines from across the Okanagan this week.

Juvenile salmon gain access to crucial B.C. habitat for first time in 100 years

Millions of wild salmon make their way out of the Lower Fraser River and into the Strait of Georgia each year, but 2022 is the first time in more than 100 years their natural path hasn’t been obstructed.

In March, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation led a project to breach the North Arm Jetty, a seven-kilometre long barrier stretching from the Vancouver International Airport to the University of British Columbia. Tucked behind it is a brackish marsh habitat, vital for juvenile salmon to rear and feed in before transitioning into the ocean’s salty water.\

Cool spring keeping start of B.C. wildfire season in check – so far

Residents in several parts of B.C. may not be especially pleased with the unseasonably cool weather they’ve been receiving, but is has been good for one thing: ensuring the wildfire season gets off to a manageable start.

A cooler spring means the slower melting of snow and the assurance that grass and brush filled valleys won’t dry out too quickly, BC Wildfire Service information officer Jean Strong said.

If temperatures spike suddenly, all the snow reserves can be released at once, depleting fire-prone areas of future moisture. So, the slower and more consistent the snow melt the better, Strong explained.

Concerns raised about possibility of invasive fish disease in B.C. waters

As spring transitions into summer and the lakes thaw across British Columbia, boaters and anglers prepare for another season on the water.

However, as watercraft travel across the province this year, there is a risk of accidentally introducing of an invasive species decimating fish populations across North America known as whirling disease.

According to Sue Davies, outreach and aquatic coordinator at the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, it’s up to people in B.C. to keep the disease from ravaging fish in local lakes and rivers.

Whirling disease is caused by an invasive microscopic parasite known as known as myxobolus cerebralis. Victims of the disease are young salmonids, a family of fish including whitefish, trout and salmon, keystone species which are vital to the ecosystems in B.C. waters according to Davies.

B.C. skies to come alive with more northern lights in the next 3 years: Scientists

The dancing lights of the aurora borealis lit up the skies all over British Columbia last weekend.

Those who didn’t have a chance to see the celestial phenomenon for themselves may be in luck, as experts predict an increased number of light displays over the coming years.

According to Bill Murtagh, Program Coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Centre, people in B.C. can expect to see more aurora borealis over the next three years as the sun reaches a significant date on its calendar.

“We’re certainly seeing things ramp up quite interestingly right now,” said Murtagh.


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