Hundreds of fish were killed in a chemical spill in Delta on the weekend, believed to have been caused by someone pouring concentrated chemicals down roadside catch basins.
Deborah Jones, with the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, was driving by Westview Drive Saturday morning when she saw several fellow streamkeepers around Cougar Creek – the most highly valued salmon stream in Delta, according to the municipality’s environment manager.
Jones was shocked to find hundreds of dead salmonids, including coho and cutthroat trout.
“There they were, collecting all these dead fish,” Jones said Wednesday. “Upstream of Westview Drive, the fish were just fine, so that narrowed (the problem) to one particular drainage pipe.”
That pipe comes from a nearby subdivision, where it’s believed someone dumped some concentrated chemicals.
Mike Brotherston, Delta’s manager of climate action and the environment, said he knows the catchment area where the chemical was likely dumped, but not what the chemical was or who threw it down the catch basin.
“All we can say is that it was toxic enough and concentrated enough to kill fish,” Brotherston said.
Since then, heavy rainfall has washed the chemical out, which is great news for the remaining fish, not so great for investigators who would like to find the culprit.
The corporation of Delta will be sending notices out to residences in the area reminding them of what dumping chemicals in catch basins does to the local fish population.