As many as forty dead fish were discovered within city limits in Joseph Creek this summer, the cause not confirmed. A diesel dump into a drainage ditch and storm sewer outlet into Elizabeth Lake killed much fauna including the freshwater shrimp along the length of the ditch and the ramifications on and into the lake are not known. Attempts have been made to discover the sources of these events and attempts were made to clean things up but that is not good enough for these occurrences should never have happened in the first place.
On top of those environmental infractions, our major tourist attraction, Elizabeth Lake and the park on the north end suffered badly from an unnatural dramatic rise in water level which raised the water table, flooded pathways, caused large floating islands of cattails to form which lodged at the north end of the lake completely changing the landscape and impeding sight lines for birdwatching and educational field trips. This major tourist attraction and beloved park is now reliant on volunteer efforts to restore the pathways, refloat the dock and clean up the birdblinds. There are suggestions for dealing with the large floating islands which impede wildlife viewing but it is not known if these will be dealt with or if nature will be permitted to take its course. As this lake is a managed water feature, valued tourist and educational resource for Cranbrook it would be most beneficial to see restoration take place. Undoubtedly Rocky Mountain Naturalists would welcome financial and volunteer help to complete these tasks. No doubt financial help from the city that benefits from this park would also be welcomed.
Cranbrook Streamkeepers would be delighted if those using Rotary Way and other paths close to the creeks would be the eyes and ears necessary to protect these valuable water resources. Any concerns can be phoned in to Stewart Wilson at 250-489-1422.