More than 500 fish are dead after liquid manure entered streams near Cousins Pond earlier this week.
Provincial conservation and environment officers responded to the report of a major liquid manure spill the evening of June 3.
The spill impacted approximately four kilometres of streams between Irishtown and the North Shore at Cousins Pond.
Officers constructed silt fences and a series of three dams to stop the flow of manure into the water. By 7 p.m. they had stopped the concentrated manure from entering the stream.
“It’s pretty fair to say that any time you have over 500 dead fish or or other wildlife, it’s quite concerning,” said Brad Potter, Manager of the Fish and Wildlife section at the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change.
“It’s certainly concerning to the fish and wildlife group, but to the environment group larger and to Islanders in general. I mean, this is not what I would consider an every day occurrence.”
The fish, all of them brook trout in various life stages, were collected as legal evidence with the help of the staff at the Kensington North Watersheds Association. The fish will be sent for analysis to determine cause of death.
“Some of these fish were very, very small,” said Potter, adding it’s likely more than 500 fish fell victim to the spill.
“As for the longer-term impact on other species, that’s not something we currently know,” he said. “These are complicated situations, and this one is under active investigation from the enforcement group.”
Clean up efforts continue and provincial biologists will return to the site later in the season to determine the long-term impacts of the spill.
“This is certainly unique in timing, because it’s the first part of June,” said Potter.
Usually fish kills come with heavy rain events in mid to late summer.
Alison Jenkins is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government. email@example.com.