Several hundreds of dead fish have been recorded, so far.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has been conducting investigative efforts in the North St. Vrain Creek to determine the damages caused by a gasoline spill.
In late April, a tanker crashed on US 36, rolling, and ultimately, spilling an estimated 500 to 1,000 gallons of gasoline, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The amount of fuel that entered the North St. Vrain Creek, which was only about 20 feet from the crash site, is still being determined.
At that time, it was found that the spill caused a massive fish kill in the creek, and since the incident, the CPW and EPA have been collecting and storing dead fish as evidence.
Investigative efforts continue along the North St. Vrain in Lyons following the tanker spill. https://t.co/bxLIRJ988V— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) May 2, 2021
Since the initial response, wildlife officers have collected, identified, counted, and stored several hundred dead fish. The main species affected were brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout.
"CPW is assessing the extent and magnitude of the fish mortality. In large scale incidents, counting and/or collecting every single dead fish is not possible, however, there are statistically valid methods to accurately estimate the losses," said a statement from the CPW.
In addition, wildlife officers have collected macroinvertebrate samples, water quality measurements, and algae measurements for a length of the affected creek.
“We visited numerous sites on the river from just upstream of the crash site all the way down to the confluence with the South Saint Vrain,” said Mindi May, CPW’s water quality coordinator.
CPW is also working with EPA, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado State Patrol to collect as much information as possible about the effects of the spill.
While it is now a few weeks out from the accident, if citizens observe anything that could be spill-related in the area, they are encouraged to report it to CPW.
"As a reminder, it is not legal for citizens to transport live fish. Information and observations about dead fish or other wildlife impacts related to the spill can be reported to CPW at [email protected]," said CPW.
Have you noticed changes in the Saint Vrain since this oil spill? Share in the comments.