Approximately 1,000 dead fish, including brook trout, rainbow trout, and Atlantic salmon, were discovered along a 3.5-kilometre stretch of the North River in central Prince Edward Island on August 9. The cause of the mass death has not been officially determined, though both federal and provincial officers have visited the scene and collected samples, and evidence seems to point toward agricultural runoff.
Mass fish deaths have become something of a routine in P.E.I., with similar events occurring in each of the last four years.
“We have seen fish kill events in recent years related to rainfall and runoff from agricultural land,” provincial fisheries biologist Rosie MacFarlane told the CBC. “[I’m] not saying that’s what caused this one, but there’s usually a connection. And we don’t normally see massive numbers of dead fish without a cause.”
Provincial Environment Department spokesman Wayne MacKinnon stated “we probably think it’s pesticide runoff,” according to the Canadian Press.