Hatchery: 10,000 salmon eggs killed by unknown pollutant

Hatchery: 10,000 salmon eggs killed by unknown pollutant

FLORENCE, Ore. - An entire generation of Coho salmon are dead according to Jack Armer, manager of the Florence Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program in Florence.

The hatchery's Coho salmon acclimate in water pulled from the Munsel Creek.

On Saturday February 8, Armer says the hatchery had 10,000 Coho salmon eggs good and healthy.

He says when he checked on the eggs Sunday morning they all were dead.

Armer says the sudden death of the Coho was caused by water in Munsel Creek being contaminated, possibly by household chemicals upstream.

The steelhead eggs, which were in trays next to the Coho, survived.

Armer said the Steelhead and the Coho are raised in different water supplies, which is why the Steelhead lived and the Coho didn't.

He said that up the creek from the hatchery, a subdivision's water runoff drains into the Munsel Creek.

He said that substances toxic to fish are used by people to fertilize a lawn or change a car's oil, runoff enters the creek.

The facility's biochemical filter normally gets rid of the toxic chemicals before the water ever gets to the eggs, Armer said.

But after a hard rain on Saturday night, whatever got washed into the creek killed a few fish and frogs in the creek - and then killed the eggs.