Frisco fish kill a mystery
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
FRISCO, Colorado ” Investigation is under way regarding the death of about 120 sucker fish discovered last week at Dillon Reservoir’s Meadow Creek inlet.
The fish may have died from a spill, but existing evidence is minimal, said Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Tom Kroening.
“I don’t know that we’ve ruled anything out at this point,” Kroening said. “The fish are all decomposed enough that we won’t find any contaminants.”
The carcasses were discovered July 17.
Denver Water spokeswoman Stacy Chesney said no irregularities have been discovered in the Denver water supply, which is fed by the reservoir.
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The DOW and Colorado Department of Health and Environment are investigating the matter; the wildlife division is monitoring the reservoir.
“It doesn’t happen very often at all,” Kroening said of this type of kill.
A similar incident occurred in the same area in 1999, he said, but the cause was discovered immediately.
“A contractor was doing work in the stream and was dumping stuff in that was killing the fish,” he said.
The party had been working on road culverts when toxic material entered the water, Kroening said.
He said that shortly after last week’s event, he explored the area and didn’t find any signs suggesting a similar situation.
Meadow Creek winds around a Frisco shopping center, some restaurants and homes before entering the reservoir.
Kroening said it’s possible substances dumped or spilled along the creek could have led to the kill.
DOW spokesman Randy Hampton said fish kill reports aren’t uncommon but that 120 is “a bit high.”
He said that in late summer, algae blooms can cause oxygen content to fall, leading to fish kills, but that doesn’t appear to be the case in this situation.
“Between the distribution of fish and, kind of the nature of it ” the temperature, a number of different factors ” we really were kind of able to rule (an algae bloom event) out,” Hampton said.
No additional large quantities of dead fish have been discovered, which reinforces the theory that the kill was a one-time event, he said.