Concern over dead fish in Bear Creek

By Justine Kelsie
June 12, 2018 - 2:01pm

Samples of dead fish from Bear Creek have been sent off to Edmonton for testing after several were found in the waterway through Grande Prairie.

Manager for Energy Management and Environmental Services with the City of Grande Prairie, Michelle Gairdner, says white sucker fish are dying in large quantities. They were noticed floating from below the spillway and south down the creek.

"We do know there are fish dying in the creek. Last week, we responded with Alberta Environment and Parks and we thought, at that time, it may have something to do with the stormwater outfalls and that they were getting caught up in there. We did some repairs and checked the other outfalls. The fish are continuing to die," said Gairdner.

They aren't sure what is killing them off, but Gairdner says anything that dies in the water in large numbers is cause for concern.

"There could a multitude of reasons. Why it is happening, we don't know. At the end of the day, we don't want fish to die in the creek other than from natural occurrences. When you are at end of life, sure. When you have mass fish dying, it is a sign of something not being right," she said.

She encourages people to notify the city or Alberta Environment and Parks if they ever notice something "fishy".

Results from the tests could be back as early as next week.  

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