John Barker has been volunteering with the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society for more than 20 years and says he’s never seen anything like it, dozens of coho salmon, pre-spawn and silvery, looking fresh from the sea, dead at the mouth of Brothers Creek.
“When you have a loss like this, it’s devastating,” said Mr. Barker.
He and others suspect the culprit in the “unprecedented” kill in late October could have been a chemical found in tires that has previously been associated with coho deaths, coupled with B.C.’s drought.
He hopes solutions can be found and wants the tire industry to find an alternative to the chemical, called 6PPD-quinone.
“Some people seem to think water that’s picked up off the street is going to a treatment plant. Well, it’s not,” said Mr. Barker.
“It’s being deposited straight into the watercourses. If you’ve got hostile product on the roadside and it gets picked up, that’s where it’s going to go,” said Mr. Barker. “We’ve seen that firsthand now.”
The society said in a statement that lack of rain may have allowed the chemical to build up on roads before late rains in the fall flushed it into waterways, where low water levels in…
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