Observation by Amelia Vos: I have performed snorkel surveys in Sarita River for 3 years. This year the turbidity had increased significantly to the effect of decreased monitoring capability. Possible concerns for anadromous fish species health and migratory capability. - Amelia Vos, Lands and Marine Coordinator, Huu-ay-aht Nation, Anacla, BC
Comment by Tom Okey, LEO BC Coordinator: This unusual turbidity could be caused by the unusual amounts of rain on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in October of 2016, or modifications to watershed function such as recent clear-cutting in the Sarita watershed, or both. Karen Barry prepared a Habitat Status Report for the Sarita River Watershed in 2010 for Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Tom Okey, Ocean Integrity Research and UVic School of Environmental Studies
Additional comment by Amelia Vos: I agree that logging has an effect on turbidity and many of my colleagues working in the area attest to this as well. It was an unusually wet fall for this region and undoubtedly this would affect our river systems. I will review the Watershed Report--this will be useful to me in many ways. The Sarita River is a very important resource to the Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Bamfield community, We will continue to monitor it and with a new monitoring plan initiated this spring we will hope to have more comprehensive monitoring methods happening. For reference, my monitoring observation was visual and with secchi disc. My snorkel partner Andrew Campbell from DFO has been on the river much longer than I, I will see if he can provide better data.
Consult by Andrew McGifford: The Bamfield water system source is Sugsaw Lake and would not be impacted by the Sarita River turbidity. - Andrew McGifford, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, Manager of Environmental Services
Barry, K. 2010. Habitat Status Report for the Sarita River Watershed, Vancouver Island, BC. Prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nanaimo, BC.