MWA post on FaceBook about detergent spill

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Re: MWA post on FaceBook about detergent spill

Postby Rusty Spinner on May 21st, 2016, 7:08 am

Had the fire company called HAZMAT as is protocol, this also would never have happened. Our meeting to work out next steps for all involved is next week. We should know by then all the good, the bad and the ugly as to what the spill has done, save for not having population densities of any macro inveretebrates in any of the sampling locations. We just have presence or absence right now.
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Re: MWA post on FaceBook about detergent spill

Postby JackG on May 21st, 2016, 8:22 am

JackG wrote:Considering the number of vehicles carrying who knows what in toxic materials along that road daily, I wonder how difficult it would be to close off or divert those catch basins that drain directly into the head waters of that pristine brook.

""Definition of catch basin. 1 : a cistern located at the point where a street gutter discharges into a sewer and designed to catch and retain matter that would not pass readily through the sewer. 2 : a reservoir or well into which surface water may drain off.'' Without having to argue the difference between a catch basin and a retention "basin or pond", is there any way that these drainage "points" could be diverted to an elevation lower than the point where they dump directly into this pristine brook? My first question after the fish kill, was what about the "food source", insect life. Jack
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Re: MWA post on FaceBook about detergent spill

Postby Skink on May 21st, 2016, 10:21 am

JackG wrote:...
My first question after the fish kill, was what about the "food source", insect life. Jack


Shortly after the spill, MWA organized volunteers to assessed the macro invertebrates and found that the "food source" still exists so the trout can still return I don't have the results of the study, but it was encouraging to hear of their presence in the brook. There will be stakeholder meeting at MWA River Resource Center called by Rich Biemiller of TU so all can discuss where we are, what are the areas of improvement (communications for sure) and what is needed to be done.

Unlike the heating oil leak a few months back, this detergent spill best remedy is dilution. The detergent is dissolvable in water and raised the pH of the water which killed thousands of fish.
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Re: MWA post on FaceBook about detergent spill

Postby Rusty Spinner on May 26th, 2016, 9:45 am

We had a great stakeholder meeting yesterday. Everyone is up to speed on all efforts and next step plans are being discussed in some cases and implemented in others. Not only were wild brown and brook trout killed, but so were all fish including slimy sculpins which are the only fish we have with even more stringent water quality needs than native brook trout (both colder water and cleaner water). The slimy sculpins were found last summer on water my firm restored last spring (March '15) and are there most likely because that lower section of the stream is heavily spring influenced. In fact, the day we surveyed it was 102 F and we often sat in the stream up to the very edge of the top of our waders because West Portal was flowing at 56F 8-)

I just offered my services gratis to perform a comprehensive stream assessment and then put together a formal restoration plan for the entire stream where needed that will be a roadmap for years to come as partners work to restore brook trout habitat and native 'other" fish habitat including for slimy sculpin, a species the Division is very concerned about as it is a key indicator species. I have been impressed at how well everyone is working together to restore native brookies back to the stream while attacking old stormwater drains and poorly designed road culverts at the same time.
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Re: MWA post on FaceBook about detergent spill

Postby NJAngler on June 10th, 2016, 10:25 am

I emailed someone awhile back about the spill(they work for NJDEP but not NJDFGW) about the future of the brook and this person said one possibility is the NJDFGW restocking it which I would be totally against. Here's the quote from the email:

. F&W has other ideas of restocking and so forth, but I disagree. Just leave it alone and it will return. Stocking a predatory fish does not help the stream if the rest of the community which they rely and feed on have not.


Apparently some browns have already moved back into the area. No sculpins yet and that's a bit disconcerting.

Thoughts?
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Re: MWA post on FaceBook about detergent spill

Postby Rusty Spinner on June 10th, 2016, 11:25 am

NJAngler wrote:I emailed someone awhile back about the spill(they work for NJDEP but not NJDFGW) about the future of the brook and this person said one possibility is the NJDFGW restocking it which I would be totally against. Here's the quote from the email:

. F&W has other ideas of restocking and so forth, but I disagree. Just leave it alone and it will return. Stocking a predatory fish does not help the stream if the rest of the community which they rely and feed on have not.


Apparently some browns have already moved back into the area. No sculpins yet and that's a bit disconcerting.

Thoughts?


Mark - it will be "restocked", but only with native/wild brookies, slimy sculpins and other natives once present in this stream from one of the nearby Musky tribs. Not restocked as in hatchery fish. Pat is electro fishing out the wild browns about twice per week as many were remaining upstream above the spill site and relocating them to the lower Pohatcong Creek. Once we feel all are as many wild browns as humanly possible are electro fished out and transferred to the Pohat, we will turn out attention to figuring out which trib to use for the new stock. Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture studies show that when multiple streams are used to restore wild brook trout, only one of the streams' brookies will successfully repopulate the new stream they were released into. Hence why we want a single source from the same watershed, where those brookies are not in any danger from wild browns. No sense causing a second population of brookies issues by removing too many and allowing any wild browns to take over. We know wild browns will eventually get back in to West Portal over time, but this is step one. Also, Pat did find one YOY brookie on the Beatty farm where my firm (for me when I was on TU staff) restored that section, but it was in a short trib of West Portal, and was not impacted by the spill. But one fish won't/can't repopulate a stream obviously. So your info is correct, but there was obviously a lot more to this story.

I'm happy to answer any questions any of you may have since I am on the stakeholder group working on this. I have also volunteered my time and will be joined by Rich Biemiller, my replacement at TU, to perform a comprehensive visual assessment of the entire stream and then I will write a comprehensive restoration plan as my professional donation to this cause. Restoration may include simple riparian buffer plantings, minor "rock rolling" projects, culvert replacements where feasible (under I-78 is a bloody mess!), and in-stream channel and bank restoration from the upper most reaches to the Musconetcong River, with the lower one mile already fully restored on the Beatty Farm and with cows fenced out on that farm and the Huff Farm immediately upstream.
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Re: MWA post on FaceBook about detergent spill

Postby Fredy on June 13th, 2016, 12:38 pm

Rusty Spinner wrote:
NJAngler wrote:I emailed someone awhile back about the spill(they work for NJDEP but not NJDFGW) about the future of the brook and this person said one possibility is the NJDFGW restocking it which I would be totally against. Here's the quote from the email:

. F&W has other ideas of restocking and so forth, but I disagree. Just leave it alone and it will return. Stocking a predatory fish does not help the stream if the rest of the community which they rely and feed on have not.


Apparently some browns have already moved back into the area. No sculpins yet and that's a bit disconcerting.

Thoughts?


Mark - it will be "restocked", but only with native/wild brookies, slimy sculpins and other natives once present in this stream from one of the nearby Musky tribs. Not restocked as in hatchery fish. Pat is electro fishing out the wild browns about twice per week as many were remaining upstream above the spill site and relocating them to the lower Pohatcong Creek. Once we feel all are as many wild browns as humanly possible are electro fished out and transferred to the Pohat, we will turn out attention to figuring out which trib to use for the new stock. Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture studies show that when multiple streams are used to restore wild brook trout, only one of the streams' brookies will successfully repopulate the new stream they were released into. Hence why we want a single source from the same watershed, where those brookies are not in any danger from wild browns. No sense causing a second population of brookies issues by removing too many and allowing any wild browns to take over. We know wild browns will eventually get back in to West Portal over time, but this is step one. Also, Pat did find one YOY brookie on the Beatty farm where my firm (for me when I was on TU staff) restored that section, but it was in a short trib of West Portal, and was not impacted by the spill. But one fish won't/can't repopulate a stream obviously. So your info is correct, but there was obviously a lot more to this story.

I'm happy to answer any questions any of you may have since I am on the stakeholder group working on this. I have also volunteered my time and will be joined by Rich Biemiller, my replacement at TU, to perform a comprehensive visual assessment of the entire stream and then I will write a comprehensive restoration plan as my professional donation to this cause. Restoration may include simple riparian buffer plantings, minor "rock rolling" projects, culvert replacements where feasible (under I-78 is a bloody mess!), and in-stream channel and bank restoration from the upper most reaches to the Musconetcong River, with the lower one mile already fully restored on the Beatty Farm and with cows fenced out on that farm and the Huff Farm immediately upstream.



Good to hear! Thanks Rusty.
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