A man walks a dog along a trail near Main Beach at Cultus Lake on a mild winter afternoon Saturday.

A man walks a dog along a trail near Main Beach at Cultus Lake on a mild winter afternoon Saturday.

Lake stewards gather at Chilliwack longhouse

Cultus Lake stewards gathered at the Yakweakwioose longhouse Tuesday night to get a yearly update on the treasured Chilliwack ecosystem.

Stewards concerned about Cultus Lake gathered at the Yakweakwioose longhouse Tuesday night to get a yearly update on the treasured Chilliwack ecosystem.

“Our people say the lake is one of our mothers,” said speaker Mark Point, a researcher at Sto:lo Tribal Council.

He introduced the event’s delicate aim of sharing a traditional meal in the longhouse, as well as uniting diverse interests around caring for the lake.

The night included a status update from the Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Strategy, facilitated by Marion Robinson of the Fraser Basin Council and Soowahlie First Nation.

“Cultus Lake is suffering from something the scientists call eutrophication, which means it’s getting too much nutrient,” Robinson said.

Some elders remember a time when the lake was clear all the way down to the bottom. But in recent years it’s become murkier in part due to the presence of about three million visitors annually to the Cultus Lake area.

“The whole point of the evening was sharing information on caring for Cultus Lake,” she said. “We consciously invited the community because we are busy building community around these issues.”

They expressed gratitude for the fourth year in a row that Grand Chief Frank Malloway allowed the “big house” to be opened in winter for the annual update and traditional meal shared by reps from local First Nations, business, government, private sector and the community.

Aboriginal speakers shared traditional stories about the lake and the supernatural creatures the dwell in it according to Sto:lo lore. An FVRD engineer touched on the status of sewage treatment in the area.

Many were waiting to hear the report by Cultus Lake Salmon Lab researcher Annika Putt, an SFU student. She is conducting field work at the DFO lab and is measuring nutrients levels at various points around the lake for the two-year Nutrient Mass Balance study.

The study is looking at the eutrophication or impacts of nutrients on the lake.

“The health of Cultus Lake is deteriorating,” Putt said.

Like many hugely popular lakes, it has too much nutrient, but pinpointing the precise source of the nutrients is a big part of the study. Some of the usual suspects are sewage, bird droppings, seepage and more.

But even if the flow of nutrients into the lake were stopped or slowed, it would still take a long time for the lake to rebound.

“We hope to take the information eventually and say these are the areas to target, and work toward halt the current trend of decreasing health,” Putt said.

Check out more at cultusstewards.shawbiz.ca



Just Posted

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

Sarah Sache and her 11-year-old son Winston at their home, West River Farm, in Chilliwack on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Fraser Valley agriculture community offers big support for autism

Chilliwack dairy farmers, the Sache family, sing praises of Steve Saccomano’s charitable work

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Audrey Inouye (right) with her two sons Kiyoshi McMillan (left) and Kaito McMillian drop off her milk to hospital volunteer Sylvia Hendel at a human milk depot on October 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Fraser Health appeals for breast milk after unexplained drop in donations

Give your breast milk and save newborn lives, the health authority is encouraging mothers

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

Most Read