Jennifer Hudec [Let naturalists pay for cleanup, Aug. 28 Letters, Langley Advance] should be aware that the City of Langley, the owners of Brydon Lagoon and much of the nearby Nicolmekl floodplain, has already indicated some reticence to do "anything expensive" to improve the general condition of the lagoon after the recent fish kill there.
Langley Field Naturalist members in 1984 submitted detailed suggestions to the City that the previous sewage lagoon (inactive as of 1975) could be readily improved to become a nature reserve; it would be primarily for birds of many species, which LFN had already observed in that area or seen migrating through.
The City passed a bylaw in June 1987, establishing the new Brydon Park Nature Lagoon and, along with many hours of volunteer labour from LFN members, built the pathways and beach area that so many local people and visitors continue to enjoy and photograph year round.
At the time of construction, the Lagoon was mostly eight to 10 feet deep and "well settled."
Since then, the Lagoon has gradually filled with silt from the City’s storm sewer inlets on the north side, and is now generally less than three feet deep, resulting in significant algae throughout.
As a result of LFN recommendations, a storm-centre collection manhole was installed to try to reduce the in-flow of silt from one input storm sewer pipe.
Somewhat later, in 2002/2003, two aeration pumps were installed in the lagoon, to counteract the reduced oxygen and summer heating of the water. Installation costs of these works were borne entirely by the City.
The recent Fish Kill was undoubtedly caused by a lack of oxygen in the lagoon water – the aeration pumps had broken down frequently in the past year or more – and the increased water temperature due to the lack of depth.
At no time was any attempt made by the City or LFN to stock any fish in the Lagoon; we suspect the dumping of small fish from "home" fish tanks and ponds as owners outgrew them, and occasional severe winter flooding of the entire Nicomekl Floodplain resulted in open water, and river fish entering directly all along the south side of the Lagoon.
LFN members continue to help keep the lagoon healthy; they have placed all the log booms there for birds to rest on, and continue to act as general guardians there as part of the Point-of-Pride program in the City.
We hope that future discussions with the City will result in this nature lagoon being rehabilitated to its original healthy condition to be enjoyed by all – human and avian.
We are pleased to accept applications for LFN membership at any time.
Rhys Griffiths, Langley