• 59°

Editorial: Fish kill shows High Rock needs monitoring

The death of thousands of fish in High Rock Lake this week may be completely natural, the result of falling temperatures and heavy storms disturbing oxygen levels in a small cove. But the kill is a fresh reminder of how fragile the lake’s ecosystem has become.
High Rock Lake covers 15,180 acres at full elevation, has 360 miles of shoreline and catches the drainage of some 4,000 square miles of land. As the first of four reservoirs Alcoa built on the Yadkin River, High Rock catches everything that flows into the river from Wilkesboro to Rowan County. The result is millions of tons of sediment, not to mention trash and pollution.
The lake has been on the state’s list of impaired waters since 2004. High Rock suffers from eutrophy, being over-rich in organic and mineral nutrients that promote plant life ó algae ó at the expense of animal life. Algae steals oxygen from the water, which can weaken and kill fish.
The lake is also caught in a tug-of-war between Alcoa, which is trying to relicense its hydroelectric project on the Yadkin, and the state, which wants control of High Rock and the other lakes in the project ó Tuckertown, Badin and Falls. While Alcoa and the state compete for control, nearby stands the Yadkin Riverkeeper, Dean Naujoks, sounding the alarm from time to time ó most recently over a waste spill in Thomasville, one which he blames for this week’s fish kill.
Whoever prevails in the struggle over relicensing may win the battle but lose the war if the condition of High Rock Lake continues to deteriorate. The state is monitoring the situation and is supposed to soon complete its plan for improving water quality. Thank goodness. A fish kill on a small cove is not an environmental disaster, but it does have the feeling of an omen.

Comments

Comments closed.

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham

Coronavirus

RSS superintendent, Board of Health discuss strategies for increasing student vaccination rates

Nation/World

Gas stations report shortages as pipeline shutdown drags on

News

Lawyers: Black man didn’t drive into deputies who shot him

Nation/World

Liz Cheney says Trump and GOP backers threaten democracy

Coronavirus

Rowan Health Department clarifies county’s COVID-19 death total is 301

Landis

Landis approves new land development ordinance, zoning map

Landis

Landis approves body camera, stun gun purchase for public safety officers

Crime

One charged, another dead on sheriff’s most wanted list

Crime

No injuries after car shot eight times on Old Concord Road

Education

RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years

News

Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet

Education

Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament

News

Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

News

House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges