Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii have joined an Okanagan River and are the only areas in BC listed at Drought Level 3.
On Saturday, the Forest Department said persistent hot and dry conditions along the west coast triggered the surge.
Below drought level 3, the province says adverse impacts are possible. The highest drought level is 5.
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Most of the province is on drought level 1, although the Kettle River in the Okanagan is on drought level 3. Six areas are now at drought level 2, including the Lower Mainland Basin, the Central Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
“Recent high temperatures, persistent sunshine and lack of rain have increased water temperatures in numerous rivers on Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii,” the ministry said.
“Warmer water temperatures and lack of rainfall may affect late summer fish rearing conditions in streams and the timing of salmon spawning migration.”
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The ministry says there have been reports of fish kills and strandings over the past month following heat warnings.
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It also said fishing bans are in place for most of east Vancouver Island’s streams due to high temperatures and will remain in place until Wednesday, August 31.
Fish strandings or deaths can be reported to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.
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In addition, the ministry is urging drought level 3 residents to reduce their water use where possible and comply with all irrigation restrictions.
The ministry noted that “when conservation measures do not produce sufficient results and drought conditions worsen, regulatory measures can be taken under the Water Sustainability Act, such as:
More information about BC’s drought system can be found online.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/9089959/vancouver-island-haida-gwaii-drought-level-3/ BC Weather: Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii now in Drought Level 3