A team of UNBC researchers has presented their findings on the Mt. Polley tailings pond breach.
Their study focuses on the impact of the disaster on Quesnel Lake.
They found that immediately following the breach, Quesnel Lake rose 7.7 centimeters and increased up to 2.5 degrees in temperature.
But UNBC researcher Ellen Petticrew says the long-term impacts are still unclear
“Our question really is, how resilient is Quesnel Lake?”
“Is the lake big enough to handle this amount of material? What parts of the food web does this material get into and is it bio-accumulative? Is the lake going to be resilient enough to handle it?”
She says salmon spawning at the time of the breach were mostly unaffected, but juvenile fish were observed swimming through the debris plume and the impact on those fish won’t be known for years.
UNBC was one of the first research teams on site after the disaster thanks to their Quesnel River Research Centre.
(Files from Colin Dacre with My Prince George Now)