Teck baffled by disappearance of rare fish downstream from mine
Teck Resources says it’s baffled over the virtual disappearance of a rare fish from a lengthy stretch of a long-contaminated river downstream from the company’s coal-mining operations in southeastern British Columbia.
A recent survey of cutthroat trout, a species of special concern, in the Fording River immediately downstream from the mines found numbers of the prized game fish have unexpectedly collapsed, according to the National Post. Stretches of river that teemed with hundreds of adults and juveniles were empty of fish two years later.
Survey teams working for the company in 2017 estimated 76 adult fish per kilometre in the 60-kilometre stretch of river from Teck’s four mines to the town of Elkford, B.C. By late 2019, the estimate was nine.
Over the entire distance, water that held nearly 3,700 fish in the fall of 2017 had just 66 by last October.
“We found that it was 74 per cent lower for juveniles and 93 per cent lower for adults,” said Teck spokesman Doug Brown. “We don’t know what factors contributed to that.”