PEI

Roseville fish kill cleanup slowed by rotting fish, murky water

Rotting fish and poor visibility is making the cleanup of the Roseville fish kill a challenge.

More than 580 fish collected so far

Workers have so far collected more than 700 fish. (Submitted by Danny Murphy)

Rotting fish and poor visibility are making the cleanup of the Roseville fish kill a challenge.

Workers showed up Tuesday for a one-day cleanup of Little Miminegash River in western P.E.I., but weren't able to finish and returned Wednesday to complete the cleanup.

"We missed a lot of fish, we know that," said Rosie MacFarlane, the freshwater fisheries biologist for P.E.I.

MacFarlane said when the fish kill was discovered Tuesday, the fish looked like they had been dead for four or five days. 

During the cleanup yesterday, MacFarlane said the fish were rotting, and some had been washed off the riverbanks after heavy rain Tuesday evening.

Danny Murphy said workers plan to return to the site on Thursday. (Submitted by Danny Murphy)

Small portion of total kill

MacFarlane said the number of fish cleaned up after a fish kill is typically just a small portion of the total kill.

"Usually, if you're getting 10 per cent you're doing well," she said. 

The little ones have been washed away, or gobbled up by something.- Danny Murphy

But she said with poor conditions and decaying fish, she expects less than 10 per cent will be cleaned up from this kill.

Danny Murphy, coordinator of the Roseville-Miminegash Watershed Inc., who discovered the kill and is helping with the cleanup, said he's seen lots of dead trout, but no small ones.

"We're just getting big trout.So all the little ones have been washed away, or gobbled up by something," said Murphy. 

The number of fish cleaned up after a fish kill is typically just a small portion of the total kill. (Submitted by Danny Murphy)

More than 700 fish collected

By end of day Wednesday, Murphy said more than 700 fish had been collected.

Workers gathered more than 624 trout, 90 sticklebacks, three gaspereau, one eel and one perch.

He said they made a small dent on Wednesday and plan to continue on Thursday.

Some of the dead fish that were collected at the Roseville watershed site. (Submitted by Danny Murphy)

now