Anita Bigland, with a taxidermied red-bellied piranha she purchased while vacationing in Venezuela, wants to know why warning signs weren’t posted at Westwood Lake after a piranha was discovered in the lake in July. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Piranha warning signs should have been put up at lake

Letter writer says people should be given information about risks to decide for themselves

To the editor,

Re: Fishermen reel in piranhas in Westwood Lake, Oct. 1

I was shocked to read last Tuesday’s paper stating a piranha had been reported to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service in late July. Knowing that these fish eat flesh, I wondered if anyone had posted a warning sign for swimmers. I didn’t see any signs posted throughout the summer, though I had seen signs posted regarding swimmer’s itch. If there were no signs posted, I wondered who knew about this reported fish, who was responsible to inform the public, and who didn’t do their job (if no signs were posted). In my endeavour to get answers, I was told the risk was low. It concerns me that someone else is deciding for me what risks I should be exposed to, or what I should even be informed about.

According to a city staff member, it is the responsibility of Nanaimo parks and recreation to put up a sign to warn the public, but after the first reporting in late July, no sign had gone up because the province did not inform the city that a report had been made.

I understand that these fish won’t survive the winter, but I am concerned about the public being kept in the dark throughout the summer swimming season. In August, plenty of families and young children were swimming under the supervision of a lifeguard, and all that time, someone knew there had been a reported piranha in that lake.

Anita Bigland, Nanaimo

RELATED: Fishermen land piranhas in Nanaimo’s Westwood Lake

RELATED: Nanaimo anglers wonder if any more piranhas are biting

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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