Drawdown results in thousands of dead fish


October 11, 2023

Sarah Brown

Dead fish located below the Green Peter Dam.

Thousands of dead juvenile fish started showing up below Green Peter Dam this weekend, causing concern among recreationists who saw the carcasses floating downstream and gathering in clumps along shorelines.

Reed Fischer, STEP biologist with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the fish were Kokanee salmon that, according to a pathology report, died as a result of barotrauma. Known as decompression sickness or "the bends" in humans, barotrauma is a deadly experience that happens from a rapid change in depth and oversaturation of gas in the blood.

"It looks like that's what happened...

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