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 Sidney’s Reay 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.

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

FILE - Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind 'Amour speaks at a press conference following an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars in Raleigh, N.C., in this Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, file photo. The Carolina Hurricanes have reached a three-year contract extension with coach Rod Brind’Amour after three straight playoff appearances. The Hurricanes announced the agreement Thursday, June 17, 2021, a little more than a week after the Hurricanes were eliminated by reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay in the second round. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker, File)
Campbell River’s Brind’Amour named NHL coach of the year

Former Stanley Cup winner celebrates honour by re-signing with the Carolina Hurricanes

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

BC Housing has brought in sanitation trailers to the former Mount Tolmie Hospital site so its current residents can access clean water, showers, sinks and toilets after a collapsed sewer pipe impacted water service to the building. (Google Streetview)
Mount Tolmie Hospital homelessness shelter using sanitation trailers after pipe collapse

Travelodge shelter residents faced intermittent hot water supply in late May, early June

Gerry Vowles (left), Michael Cook, and Dave Sinclair were awarded “Dominion Command Presidential Citations” June 17 in Cloverdale. The rare awards were given out for “exemplary service to the Legion.” (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Three B.C. legionnaires awarded ‘Presidential Citations’

Ceremony took place in Cloverdale June 17

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Syringes prepared with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Vaccine first doses now available for walk-ins on Vancouver Island

People aged 18+ can walk in for their first COVID-19 vaccine

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Most Read