SS4.11 Water and Society - Science and Management in a Social and Economic Context
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 9:45:00 AM
Location: Sidney
 
JohannesMR, Northwest Ecosystem Institute, Nanaimo, Canada, mark@ecosystems.bc.ca
Hyatt, K, D, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nanaimo, Canada, hyattk@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Jensen, V, , BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Penticton, Canada, Vic.Jensen@gems3.gov.bc.ca
 
LINKING HUMAN SETTLEMENT, LAND USE AND NUTRIENT LOADING WITH TRENDS IN WATER QUALITY, FISH HABITATS AND POPULATIONS, AS KEY INDICATORS OF ECOSYSTEM HEALTH
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The Okanagan basin has experienced one of the fastest growth rates in population, land and water use in the province of British Columbia over the past century. The basin is home to a variety of unique and sensitive plant, wildlife and fish species including cold water anadromous sockeye and resident kokanee salmon. Human population and development has increased nutrient loading, altered water quality and quantity, introduced exotic species, polluted ground water, reduced habitats, and threatened the extinction of terrestrial and aquatic species. Our paper examines trends in lake and river water quality, along with changes in habitat and production characteristics of sockeye and kokanee salmon, as key indicators of ecosystem sensitivity and condition. We relate the consequences of human population growth and land use practices to variations in these indicators to anticipate the direction of future ecosystem change. We conclude that maintenance of healthy populations of sockeye and kokanee salmon will require the development and implementation of an effective ecosystem-based management framework supported by all levels of government as well as the general public in both Canada and the United States.