The Slocan River at Shoreacres.

Slocan River Streamkeepers keep eye on river

A group dedicated to protecting the Slocan River aquatic ecosystem is optimistic that the river will recover from damage done

A group dedicated to protecting the Slocan River aquatic ecosystem is optimistic that the river will recover from damage done in last month’s jet fuel spill into Lemon Creek.

Jennifer Yeow, a director with the Slocan River Streamkeepers, said her group will continue to independently monitor the river to measure the impact the fuel spill has on aquatic life over the long term. The organization has been studying the river for the past decade and a half.

“We have a wealth of baseline information that’s useful to scientists as a standard from which to compare any impacts,” Yeow told 103.5 The Bridge, noting her organization is particularly interest in counting the fish and macroinvertebrates (tiny bugs) in the river.

“We have an opportunity here to see how the spill has affected the things we are looking at and see how it improves and changes over time.”

The Streamkeepers will work with Castlegar environmental consultant Katherine Enns to analyze changes in the river.

“With her help, we will conduct a directed sampling regime — where we collect samples at certain sites — possibly in the same places we have collected before [the fuel spill], so we can see before and after,” Yeow explained.

Her expectation, based on conversations with Enns, is that the river will bounce back.

“In terms of the chemical makeup of the fuel and the volume, and knowing the resilience of our river, [the fuel spill]’s not as bad as it could be.”