Stanley Park's Lost Lagoon is losing its way, say scientists
VANCOUVER -- Lost Lagoon is losing its way, and scientists are calling for an intervention as Stanley Park’s freshwater ecosystems struggle.
Water temperatures in the lagoon and Beaver Lake during the summer are too high for aquatic animals to survive, according to the Stanley Park Ecology Society’s 2020 State of the Park Report, published this week.
“Unfortunately, freshwater ecosystems are doing poorly in Stanley Park,” the report reads.
Local salmon are struggling to survive in these spots.
“Water temperatures are high in Beaver Lake and Lost Lagoon and oxygen levels are exceptionally low in Beaver Lake to the point they are reaching lethal levels for salmonids and amphibians,” the report continues.
The freshwater bodies both provide essential habitat for aquatic and semi-aquatic species such as frogs, salamanders, fish, beavers, bats, and birds.
The report’s authors, who are experts in conservation, use the report to call for help.
“Without proper intervention, the situation is expected to worsen,” it says.
“Dredging Beaver Lake, creating habitat islands, and developing long-term solutions to improve Lost Lagoon water quality were some of the proposed actions in the 2011 Stanley Park Ecological Action Plan and should be pursued.”
The alarmingly low levels of oxygen and high temperatures may explain the “low number of fish and amphibian species in Beaver Lake,” the report continues.
The report also suggests a few other steps to improve the long-term health of Beaver Lake and Lost Lagoon, including installing water quality and water level data loggers and assessing the impact of municipal water shut-off on the park’s watershed.