BUTTE — A fish kill in Montana has been blamed on mining waste washed into a river during recent heavy rains.
The Montana Standard reported Tuesday that a state Fish, Wildlife and Parks department biologist says whitefish, trout and suckers have died in the Clark Fork River between Warm Springs and Galen.
The region received extensive rainfall starting Friday and culminating Sunday.
Biologist Nathan Cook has observed 32 dead fish and suspects many more may have died and been carried downstream or consumed by birds.
Cook says areas called “slickens” are a known source of metal contaminants.
He says berms installed in the 1980s to keep water away from slickens have failed in recent years.
Cook says the involvement of multiple species indicates an external contaminant as opposed to a disease.