A task force appointed to look into the health of Langley City’s Brydon Lagoon says linking the pond to the nearby Nicomekl River, as was suggested in a consultant’s report, could result in more harm than good. The task force was appointed following a massive fish kill in the lagoon, which occurred during a heat wave last summer.

No link to Nicomekl, says Brydon Lagoon task force

Recommendation to stock Langley City pond with fish also opposed by BLTF

Several recommendations made in a consultant’s report on managing Brydon Lagoon will do more harm than good, according to the Brydon Lagoon Task Force (BLTF).

The consultant’s suggestions to link the lagoon to the Nicomekl River, stock the lagoon with fish and install concrete sidewalks are not sustainable for the area, said Lisa Burgess-Parker, chair of the BLTF.

Burgess-Parker spoke to City of Langley council in July to summarize the findings of the BLTF — a group of residents and environmentalists put together by the City after a massive fish kill in the lagoon last summer.

The BLTF reviewed historical records along with the Brydon Lagoon section of a pond management strategies report created for the City by Dillion Consulting Ltd. in 2013.

The goal of the task force was to find information gaps and discrepancies, make recommendations for the action items listed in the consultant’s report and create additional recommendations, Burgess-Parker said.

Although they agree with many of the consultant’s action items, some they strongly oppose.

In particular, linking the Nicomekl River to Brydon Lagoon “was brought up as a very, very high negative,” Burgess-Parker said.

Due to water quality issues in the lagoon — which caused thousands of fish to die last summer — the habitat is not suitable for salmon and other species found in the Nicomekl River, she said.

Similarly, stocking the lagoon with fish will not help, either. Currently, the lagoon houses several species of fish that were introduced by people dumping their aquariums, or during flood periods when the Nicomekl River overflowed into the lagoon, she said.

Because of the water conditions, most native fish species cannot survive. Therefore, if the City were to stock the lagoon, it would have to be with bass, an invasive fish. During floods, these fish would inevitably end up in the Nicomekl River.

“The bass, especially, are terrible to introduce into a system as they will eat all of the native fish,” Burgess-Parker said.

Other action items the BLTF disagrees with include constructing baffles to increase flow path of storm water inflows, creating settling lagoons/wetlands and establishing trails in the northern portion of the site.

As part of their work, the task force also created a prioritized list of the most important issues in the lagoon.

Their top five are water quality, sediment accumulation, high water temperatures, water quantity and invasive species of plants.

On July 27, council voted to refer the BLTF’s findings to staff for further review.

Brydon Lagoon has a rich history

The quiet path that winds around Brydon Lagoon was not always the picturesque walkway that it is today.

For more than 20 years the Lagoon was a fenced off sewage settling pond.

Built in the 1960s for $600,000, the sewage pond was part of the City of Langley’s first sewer system.

It was constructed on land sold by farmer John Brydon, whose family owned property in the area since the early 1900s.

At 300 metres long, 100 metres wide and 1.25 metres deep, the pond had the capacity to hold 23,000 cubic metres of water.

Early drawings show that the effluent, after settling, was discharged into the nearby Nicomekl River.

In 1970, the City joined the Greater Vancouver Regional District and its sewer services. A new sewer line was built from the treatment plant in Delta to a pump station beside the pond, and the original line was decommissioned.

It was at this time that the Langley Field Naturalists (LFN) began campaigning the City to turn the area into a park.

Although there were other suggestions — including filling-in the pond and creating a trailer park, or turning it into a remote controlled boat site, the City favoured the LFN plan.

In 1985 the site was designated as a nature park, and the LFN began planting bushes and trees in the area to attract wildlife. Trails were also built around the lagoon for the public to enjoy.

Today, the LFN is still heavily involved with the park.

Members continue to maintain floating roots and various nest boxes, and perform fish counts with the Langley Environmental Partners Society.

In 2014 there were 144 different species of birds recorded in the area, as well as several species of invasive fish.

Although the Lagoon has never been stocked with fish, over the years many non-native species have made their home there, most likely released from home aquariums or introduced by the Nicomekl River during flooding periods.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Liberal candidates Michael de Jong and Bruce Banman are projected to win in Abbotsford West and Abbotsford South, respectively. Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News
Aldergrove Liberals de Jong and Banman heading to Victoria, say Highway 1 widening will be focus

In Abbotsford-Mission, BC Liberal Simon Gibson in close race against NDP’s Pam Alexis

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Students at Brookswood Secondary participated in Student Vote 2020. (Katie Glover/Special to Langley Advance Times)
PHOTOS: Students cast a ballot for Langley candidates

Brookswood Secondary participated in Student Vote 2020

Voting locations in Langley for the 2020 BC provincial election. (Google)
MAP: Voting locations in Langley

Sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read