Cause of dead fish in Joseph Creek unknown

What has caused a number of fish to die in Joseph Creek over the September 5 weekend is not known.

What has caused a number of fish to die in Joseph Creek over the September 5 weekend is not known.

Ray Gilowitz, a conservation officer based out of Cranbrook, confirmed that fish had died in the creek for unknown reasons.

“The ministry doesn’t know at this point why it occurred,” he said.

He said the COs were initially called because of the reports of fish floating in the creek. Environment Canada has taken water samples and fish samples as well.

He said there are no known causes at this time.

“The ministry is certainly aware of it, but there are no answers to how or why it occurred at this point,” he said.

Chris Zettel, the city’s corporate communication officer, said the city was made aware Monday that something occurred over the weekend in regards to the fish.

“We understand there were some pictures and just a step-by-step of where they went on Joseph Creek, where they were checking and what they found to see if anybody was aware of any issues,” he said. “Then it got turned over to the conservation officer service who are part of (Ministry of Environment). They may in turn pull in the Department of Fisheries.”

The information was then circulated to Public Works and Engineering to make them aware of it.

Zettel said that because it is Joseph Creek, responsibilities around investigation and those sorts of things rest with the Ministry of Environment, and possibly  Fisheries.

“I do know that the conservation officer service is looking into it to see what happened,” he said. “But at this point we’re just like everyone else and waiting to see what the investigation brings up.”

Zettel said in his five years with the city he hasn’t seen something like this before.

“We’ll wait and see what the result of the investigation is from the CO service,” he said. “I think that maybe if the investigation leads to some suggestions and recommendations for the city for things that we might be able to do to help prevent something like this from happening down the line. I know staff will certainly have a look at it and I know mayor and council will certainly have an interest in exploring what the city can do.”

One thing of note is that the storm sewers in the city all empty into Joseph Creek.

“Just to make people aware that what they do put down the storm sewer will end up in Joseph Creek,” he said.