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KayDee Gilkey EPA Mine Waste Spill Impact on the Animas River
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: August 13, 2015

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Most of us have seen the dramatic images of the mine waste spill that impacted the Southwestern Colorado’s Animas River.??Colorado State University Dept of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology’s Dr. Will Clements says that while there will be negative impacts just below the confluence of Cement Creek where the pulse of very high-metal concentrations were spilled, there is good news for the lower portions of the watershed and its aquatic life.
Clements: “The biggest concern with the respect to the spill is the potential longer term implications of this for the downstream fisheries in the Animas River. It is a fairly large spill that took place. It is certainly having significant consequences for the upper portions of the Animas River. It seems most of the concerns, legitimately so, is the issues surrounding the water quality and the affects on fisheries population and aquatic insect populations — their main food source — in these downstream reaches. As many of your listeners probably know, the lower portions of the Animas River are gold medal trout stream and there is some serious concerns about the potential effect this will have on those. The good news is there is a tremendous amount of delusion from some of the cleaner tributaries that takes place in some of the watersheds and streams that flow into the Animas River that such that the concentrations that are being measured in the upper portion just below the spill, are probably not going to be seen at these downstream portions. So there is a good likelihood I think that we may not see major effects on those fisheries downstream because of the delusion of clean water.”


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