Well, I was hoping it wouldn’t happen.
I was hoping it wouldn’t rain, because rain flushes all the crap off our roads and into our creeks. Gasoline, oil, antifreeze, metals from brake-lining dust…
But today one of our volunteers from the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society observed 130+ dead coho smolts in the sediment pond, near where they had been released just two days ago. See photos in previous post.
Anger. Sadness. Frustration.
We’ve had years where we’ve counted over 700 dead smolts, or a mortality rate of over 25% of those released, and I’m sure we always miss many morts. Mother Nature cleans up damn quick when a smolt buffet is set for all the birds and beasts who love fish.
The weirdness is that indigenous fish appear to be fine. You’ll see fry and trout swimming about unaffected by the pollutants that kill the coho.
You can see live fry on the right-hand side of this photo
This one was barely alive. It sat on the bottom barely moving, then turned a few circles, and banged its head into the concrete wall of the sediment pond.