North River fish kill has opposition politicians pointing fingers
Environment minister says it may be weeks before it is known what caused the fish kill
Volunteers picked up another hundred or so dead brook trout, rainbow trout and salmon fry from the North River Monday. This is in addition to 1,000 fish scooped up yesterday.
Karalee McAskill is worried about the river’s fish populations.
“Right now, any of these fish we've collected today, they're not going to end up spawning, so we're not going to have that generation or the ones after that,” said the watershed coordinator for the Cornwall Area Watershed Group.
Environmental officials don't know yet what caused this fish kill and are still investigating. However, provincial fish biologist Rosie MacFarlane has her suspicions.
“We have seen fish kill events in recent years related to rainfall and runoff from agricultural land,” she said. “Not saying that's what caused this one, but there's usually a connection.”
Politicians were busy pointing fingers today at what they say has become an annual problem.
NDP Leader Mike Redmond says the province needs stronger enforcement of the buffer-zone rules to ensure farmers keep their pesticides away from rivers.
Environment Minister Janice Sherry says her department is working closely with farmers and watershed groups to follow recommendations issued by an action committee in 2012.
“We know that not all the things can happen immediately, but there has certainly been a commitment,” she said.
The minister says one of the committee's recommendations was put into action on Saturday when the province brought in an agricultural engineer to help with the investigation.
Sherry says it may be weeks before officials know what caused the fish kill.