August 6, 2007

PEI, federal officials probe fish kills on two rivers

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI-Officials from Prince Edward Island's Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry are being assisted by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in an investigation of fish kill incidents that occurred in late July on the upper east branch of the Tryon River and on the Dunk River. The first incident, discovered and reported on July 22, affected approximately four kilometres of stream. Cleanup crews collected about 725 dead fish over the next few days. The Dunk River incident, discovered July 23, affected more than 12 kilometres of stream from the Emerald area to Scales Pond. Department crews walked the river to determine the area affected, take additional samples, and collect dead fish. About 500 fish were picked up from the Dunk River incident, but officials said thousands of fish were affected, including many large rainbow and speckled trout and salmon. Cloudy conditions in the water made the cleanup effort difficult and slow, he said. Provincial crews also checked several other major river systems in Prince Edward Island for dead fish, but found no further signs of fish mortalities. The entire Dunk River and the east branch of the Tryon River have been closed to angling for the rest of the year. Water, soil and vegetation samples, as well as dead fish, have been sent for laboratory analysis, with results expected sometime in August.

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