Coho Smolt Kill in Byrne Creek, Burnaby, BC

Sadly we expected this with the rain last night right after releasing 3,700 smolts in Byrne Creek yesterday with elementary schoolkids.

We suspected this would happen as it has happened following releases many times over the years. If it rains too soon after a release before the smolts migrate to the river, they get killed by road wash — a chemical in tires identified by research in Washington State that coho are particularly susceptible to.

We counted a couple of dozen dead smolts today, but the place we usually see the most morts — the sediment pond — was too murky to see anything. I’ll go back later in the day when it has cleared.

As I was there, I saw a smolt throw itself out of the pond onto a sandy bank, before flopping back in the water. There was one mort floating on the surface, and there were several up on the banks in the artificial spawning channel.

coho smolt kill byrne creek burnaby bc