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Willow Creek fish kill event cause remains unknown

More than two thousand fish, mostly coho fry, were discovered dead in Willow Creek this week by streamkeeping volunteers.

Monica Stewardson, a biologist with Mainstream Biological Consulting who helped transfer surviving fry to safety, says the cause remains a mystery. She says the hot weather on Monday may have played a role, reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen and putting young fish at higher risk from contaminants.

She says the incident is a reminder for people to be careful what goes down storm drains.

“We may never know what caused this specific event, but it really is a good reminder of how significant impacts can be if we’re not being thoughtful about what’s going into the storm system,” she says. “There’s a lot of fish in that little creek and I think sometimes people don’t realize that.”

The fish were discovered by volunteers cleaning up the banks of the creek near where it crosses underneath Erickson Road. Trout, stickleback and sculpins were also affected by the event.

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