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Investigations into fish kills continuing

<p>Hundreds of dead fish were discovered in the Little Miminegash River in Roseville in August.</p>
<p>Hundreds of dead fish were discovered in the Little Miminegash River in Roseville in August.</p>

ALBERTON – What’s clear from preliminary reports issued by the Fish and Wildlife Department into fish kills in the Clyde River and Little Miminegash River last summer is that periods of heavy rainfall preceded both events.

Necropsies were performed at the Atlantic Veterinary College from dead fish collected at both sites but cause of death could not be determined.

Temperature and oxygen levels at both locations were found to be within the optimum range.

 

Clyde River

The fish kill was reported on July 25. Stream workers and investigators subsequently gathered up 342 dead fish, including 277 trout. There were very few young of year fish found but that was believed to be because of their small size and being difficult to find among the grass, sediment and debris.  Dead fish were found in a 5.8-kilometer length of the stream.

Investigators reported flattened vegetation next to the stream previous higher water levels, as well as some gullies visible between adjacent fields and the stream.

Data from a certified weather observer in the area indicated 33.3 mm of precipitation had occurred over a three-hour period on July 24, while a manual gauge indicated 39.6 mm fell during that period.

Necropsies indicated that fish samples collected on the date the fish kill was discovered were fairly well preserved. Four of five trout examined had full stomachs and the fifth had some food in its stomach. There were no lesions observed on the fish leading to a suggestion of a “very acute death”. There was, however, no diagnosis on cause of death.

Some collected fish were wrapped in tinfoil and sent to the Environment Canada Laboratory in Moncton for pesticide analysis. Those results have nut yet been reported.

 

Little Miminegash River

Dead fish were found in the river on August 22. A total of 931 fish including 743 brook trout were subsequently retrieved from a 3.5-kilometer section of the stream. Most of the fish were mature fish. A UPEI Climate Research Laboratory weather station close by in Brockton recorded 10.7 mm of rainfall on August 17 and 8.9 mm on August 18.

There was evidence of flattened and sediment-stained vegetation alongside the stream, and dead worms and slugs in the streambed. There were also signs of runoff observed from surrounding land in the Dock Road area.

Three fish were wrapped in tinfoil and transported to the Environment Canada Laboratory in Moncton for pesticide analysis and five brook trout were kept refrigerated until delivered the following day to the Atlantic Veterinary College for necropsies. The samples were described as moderately decomposed. A cause of death could not be determined.

 

Ongoing

The investigation into the cause of the fish deaths is still ongoing. Wade MacKinnon, manager of the Investigation and Enforcement Section of the Department of Justice and Public Safety, said his department is still waiting results of sediment and water sample analysis from the Environment Canada lab. He did not know when those results would be available.

Necropsies were performed at the Atlantic Veterinary College from dead fish collected at both sites but cause of death could not be determined.

Temperature and oxygen levels at both locations were found to be within the optimum range.

 

Clyde River

The fish kill was reported on July 25. Stream workers and investigators subsequently gathered up 342 dead fish, including 277 trout. There were very few young of year fish found but that was believed to be because of their small size and being difficult to find among the grass, sediment and debris.  Dead fish were found in a 5.8-kilometer length of the stream.

Investigators reported flattened vegetation next to the stream previous higher water levels, as well as some gullies visible between adjacent fields and the stream.

Data from a certified weather observer in the area indicated 33.3 mm of precipitation had occurred over a three-hour period on July 24, while a manual gauge indicated 39.6 mm fell during that period.

Necropsies indicated that fish samples collected on the date the fish kill was discovered were fairly well preserved. Four of five trout examined had full stomachs and the fifth had some food in its stomach. There were no lesions observed on the fish leading to a suggestion of a “very acute death”. There was, however, no diagnosis on cause of death.

Some collected fish were wrapped in tinfoil and sent to the Environment Canada Laboratory in Moncton for pesticide analysis. Those results have nut yet been reported.

 

Little Miminegash River

Dead fish were found in the river on August 22. A total of 931 fish including 743 brook trout were subsequently retrieved from a 3.5-kilometer section of the stream. Most of the fish were mature fish. A UPEI Climate Research Laboratory weather station close by in Brockton recorded 10.7 mm of rainfall on August 17 and 8.9 mm on August 18.

There was evidence of flattened and sediment-stained vegetation alongside the stream, and dead worms and slugs in the streambed. There were also signs of runoff observed from surrounding land in the Dock Road area.

Three fish were wrapped in tinfoil and transported to the Environment Canada Laboratory in Moncton for pesticide analysis and five brook trout were kept refrigerated until delivered the following day to the Atlantic Veterinary College for necropsies. The samples were described as moderately decomposed. A cause of death could not be determined.

 

Ongoing

The investigation into the cause of the fish deaths is still ongoing. Wade MacKinnon, manager of the Investigation and Enforcement Section of the Department of Justice and Public Safety, said his department is still waiting results of sediment and water sample analysis from the Environment Canada lab. He did not know when those results would be available.

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