Chris Ferguson, a Metchosin resident, found 12 or 13 dead fish along Witty’s Lagoon Thursday morning. (Photo courtesy of Chris Ferguson)

Dead fish dot shoreline at Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin

Untouched by birds, DFO has yet to confirm cause of death

A Metchosin resident came across an unsettling sight at Witty’s Lagoon Thursday morning.

Chris Ferguson was out for a morning hike along Witty’s Lagoon when he noticed a small, dead fish along the sandy beach.

Thinking little of it, Ferguson snapped a photo and continued on his walk. But when he started hiking further down, he began to find more.

READ ALSO: New photos help identify mystery creature found on Peninsula beach

“They were just all over,” Ferguson said. “They had no signs of being attacked by anything so that’s what concerns me.”

Ferguson said he counted 12 or 13 dead fish in the area where the water comes out of Sitting Lady Falls and meets the ocean. However, he said there were probably more, noting he saw some in the water as well.

What concerned Ferguson is that none of the birds were eating the fish either.

“That area is filled with birds in the morning, cranes looking for fish,” Ferguson said. “They’re there every time I go there in the morning hiking.”

Upon examining the fish a little closer, Ferguson said he did not notice any damage marks on them and is guessing they died from something in the water or natural causes.

READ ALSO: DFO to test for harmful virus at B.C. fish farms

However, his guesses have yet to be confirmed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Ferguson said he reached out to them with photos but has no response as of yet. Black Press Media has contacted the department as well and has been told the DFO is looking into the issue.

“It was really kind of alarming,” Ferguson said, noting he’s never seen anything like it before. “People swim in that area too so if there’s something wrong with the water it’s concerning.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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