More than 1,000 dead fish were collected from the North River in central P.E.I. on Sunday after someone saw the fish and contacted environmental officials on Saturday.
There were four species recovered along 3.5 kilometres of the river, including rainbow trout, brook trout, Atlantic salmon and stickleback. This is the first fish kill on the Island this year.
Water samples were taken revealing oxygen levels and quality were good and the fish appeared healthy and fed, said Rosie MacFarlane, a provincial fisheries biologist.
“You don’t see it in a healthy stream at any given time, you don’t see that number of dead fish.”
MacFarlane said it has been at least three days since the fish died and many were starting to rot during the cleanup Sunday.
“It was a sudden event. They all died at the same time.”
The cleanup will continue through Monday and the Cornwall watershed group has offered to help finish the cleanup, she said.
“It’s unfortunate that we have had another fish kill, particularly in the form of Atlantic salmon. There are so few rivers left with salmon populations.”
MacFarlane said this kill will set salmon populations back in North River.
An investigation is underway with Environment Canada and conservation officers from the province to determine what killed the fish.