The current extreme drought conditions faced by BC are having an incredibly detrimental impact on the local salmon and trout populations on Vancouver Island.
To help protect these fish populations, a protection order is being placed upon the Tsolum River, which runs through Courtenay, restricting water use for industry and agriculture.
The river levels have been consistently low, posing a significant threat to the survival of the salmon and trout that spawn in the river.
The protection order will require around 45 license holders who were previously able to access the river’s water to cease using the Tsolum as a source.
These license holders include grass, hay, alfalfa, and corn growers.
The province says some operators who use water for industrial purposes will also be barred from using water starting Saturday.
Industrialists will also need to cease using the Tsolum River as a water source.
The order does not apply for water used for non-forage crops – such as market vegetables – as well as livestock watering and domestic use.
BC states that the order will only be revoked when water flows in the Tsolum River return to normal.
All of BC has been facing stiff drought conditions this summer, including the entirety of Vancouver Island, which is under drought level five conditions, the most severe on the province’s scale.
Last night, BC declared a state of emergency as Canada’s worst wildfire season in modern history tears through the province, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.