Washington State Officials Say They Have Better Idea Of How Many Fish Escaped In Net Pen Failure

Aug 28, 2017


Officials now have clearer estimates on the disastrous release of farmed Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound this month.

Up to 185,000 non-native salmon were released.

Cooke Aquaculture, the company that operates the net pen, is responsible for cleaning up the spill. This weekend the company concluded that more than a third of the salmon did NOT escape.

But with more than 300,000 fish originally in the nets, that means tens of thousands have scattered throughout Puget Sound.

Washington state's Incident Command Spokesperson Cori Simmons said it will be a while before the state knows the effects of the spill.

"We don't have things like cause, and things like that. None of the departments involved are interested in doing a rush investigation,” Simmons said. “Whatever happened it's very, very important that we find out the whole story."

Multiple state agencies are investigating.

Tribal anglers, including teams with the Lummi Nation, continue to pull up thousands of farmed Atlantic fish.

Cooke Aquaculture had applied for a new fish-net permit in the state, but Governor Jay Inslee's office has put a hold on the permit for now.

Copyright 2017 KUOW