Tag Archives: Oysters

Oyster & Clam sectors burned during heat wave

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Dave Nikleva walks the shoreline of a Cortes Island beach nudging oysters with the toe of his boot.

“Dead. Dead. Dead,” Nikleva mutters as he goes along.

The shellfish farmer stoops over to pick up one bigger specimen for inspection before tossing it back on the beach.

The stench along this stretch of Gorge Harbour at low tide is tremendous. But it was even worse two weeks ago when a record-breaking heat wave cooked thousands upon thousands of oysters in their shells in the final days of June.

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Stranded in the heat, sand, and rocks

There was a boat stranded in the sand, at Smelt Bay, on Saturday. The Woody Point’s anchor lay not too far distant, a testament to its owner’s original intention. The ocean was perhaps another hundred feet distant. 

CKTZ News came to take pictures for another story. Thousands of mussels died on the exposed rocks at the southern side of the beach. They were presumably casualties of the heatwave that ravaged shellfish populations throughout the West Coast almost two weeks ago. 

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Abnormally high number of Shellfish deaths on Cortes Island

In the midst of a heat wave that may have left as many as a billion dead marine creatures along the West Coast, there appears to have been an abnormally high number of shellfish deaths reported at a number of Cortes Island locations. 

Daily temperature highs of between 35°C and 40°C were recorded, at the Cortes Island School, during the last five days of June.  

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Paul Kirmmse remembers Cortes Island in 1971

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Born in New York, he chose Canada. Another two years passed before he arrived on a remote island off the West Coast. Paul Kirmmse remembers Cortes Island in 1971.

Continue reading Paul Kirmmse remembers Cortes Island in 1971