LETTER — Is Inks Lake “uninhabitable by fish and other aquatic life”? The KGHM Ajax Fact Booklet seems to think this is the case: http://www.amemining.com/i/pdf/KGHM_Ajax_Booklet.pdf
This weekend, I came across a very interesting undergraduate research paper published by Alex Lapierre in the Proceedings of the 8th Annual Thompson Rivers University Undergraduate and Innovative Conference, which took place in April 2013. The paper was entitled “Animal Biodiversity Survey of Inks Lake, B.C. Canada.”
The researcher conducted a scientific study to assess the claim that Inks Lake is absent of any aquatic life. His focus was on birds’ behaviour, but Mr. Lapierre also took water samples to examine the diversity of aquatic life in the lake.
He collected data from May to December 2012 on a weekly basis. Contrary to the claim by KGHM Ajax, his interesting research found a wide variety of bird species and aquatic life at Inks Lake. He observed a significant diversity of birds feeding on the plants and/or on aquatic invertebrates.
The lake is full of life. The lake is a stopover location for migratory birds. Inks Lake is a place for birds to copulate and to raise their young ones. The researcher states that he was unable to obtain a permit to sample for the habitat of fish. However, he observed the presence of fish-eating birds which suggests the possible existence of fish.
The researcher concludes: “Contrary to previous descriptions of Inks Lake, which stated that it is uninhabitable by aquatic life…and not a breeding grounds for waterfowl……, a wide variety of vertebrates and aquatic invertebrates was found at the Lake……..If Inks Lake is altered or destroyed by the proposed Ajax Copper-Gold Project, a stopover site and breeding habitat and a food source for many species will be lost.”