Spill causes die-off of salmon in Nooksack River

FERNDALE — State and tribal environmental officials are seeking information about a spill that caused a small die-off of young salmon in the Nooksack River.

The Lummi Natural Resources Department are reporting 11 dead Chinook salmon smolts and more than a 100 dead pink and chum salmon found in a smolt trap at Hovander Park in Ferndale.

The Bellingham Herald reported the dead fish were found at midday Tuesday. The same trap was fine that morning.

Officials believe the die-off may have been caused by a spill or the dumping of chemicals into the river. Tests found a higher acidity level in the water and scientists observed the scent of juniper or an evergreen chemical cleaner nearby.

Water samples and fish carcasses have been sent for laboratory analysis.

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