Crews recovered several hundred fish including 318 cutthroats from Reay Creek over two days after a suspected bleach leak. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)

Crews recovered several hundred fish including 318 cutthroats from Reay Creek over two days after a suspected bleach leak. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)

Several hundred fish dead in Vancouver Island creek after suspected bleach leak

Ian Bruce of Peninsula Streams Society calls for speedy, proper investigation

A local expert calls for a speedy and proper investigation after what is believed to bleach leaked into Sidney’s Reay Creek, killing hundreds of fish.

“Investigations by the proper authorities need to be undertaken to find the leak’s source,” said Ian Bruce, executive coordinator of the Peninsula Streams Society, on Sunday morning.

He made these comment two days after a five-year-old child found the first of several hundred dead fish in the creek Friday morning. The child then alerted his parents, who subsequently reached out to the Town of Sidney, which asked Bruce to investigate.

Bruce said the bleach had entered the creek through a stormwater drain via a perimeter drain.

“Somebody was using a lot of bleach to clean something for some reason and then maybe just dumped it out on the yard. They may not have known that it would go that quickly to the perimeter drain and that quickly to the creek. They weren’t aware or they didn’t care, one of the two.”

The effects were devastating. Crews recovered 318 dead cutthroat trout, six cohos, 13 sculpins and 11 sticklebacks from the creek, said Bruce, adding that the spill also affected smaller animals of various sorts.

“It basically killed everything in its path for about 150 metres,” he said.

RELATED: Sidney asks for input on future of Reay Creek Park

Bruce praised the response of the municipality to the incident after the initial discovery. “Sidney did a really good job,” he said. “They brought staff in to help pick up the dead fish.”

This leak and its consequences draw attention to the potential effects of handling and disposing of harmful chemicals and other material. “(People) have to be very, very careful with things that can harm fish,” he said.

This incident has occurred against the backdrop of on-going efforts by the municipality as well as other parties including to Peninsula Streams Society to help restore the natural environment of Reay Creek and its watershed.

The area has been the site of significant investment by the municipality in recent years, including the recent remediation of the Reay Creek dam.

Transport Canada’s has also been remediating the pond created by the dam after the federal government took full responsibility for contaminating the area through its activities on the nearby Victoria International Airport.

Last month, students attending KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich released juvenile salmon into the creek.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Chemainus Secondary School 2021 graduate Nina Bumstead. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Grad ceremony proceeds, with a twist

Red carpet outside works out well for Chemainus Secondary’s Class of 2021

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Chemainus street signs now contain Hul’qumi’num translations, like this one at the corner of Willow and Legion Streets. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Street signs go up in the Hul’qumi’num language

Chemainus intersections feature direct translations

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Most Read