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

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Curl B.C. chairperson Teri Palynchuk is this year’s winner of the Janette Robbins Award for leadership. Palynchuk is pictured here with the Curling Canada Foundation Cup along with past chairperson Peter Muir, left, and Curl B.C. CEO Scott Braley. (Photo courtesy Curl B.C.)
Nanaimo curling exec wins Curl B.C. leadership award

Teri Palynchuk receives Janette Robbins Award

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Most Read