Video: Electro-shocking the Snake River, Keystone, Colo.

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Jon Ewert discusses electro-shocking

By Bob Berwyn

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SUMMIT COUNTY — Heavy metals from abandoned mines and from natural sources have contaminated the Snake River in Summit County. As part of an ongoing effort to assess the impacts, the Colorado Division of Wildlife surveys a 600-foot reach of the river each year in early August. By electro-shocking the fish, biologists are able to count the population. Most of the fish are stocked by Keystone resort since the water is too toxic to sustain much of a natural fishery.

I’ll post  a story on the results of this year’s shocking a little later. Check the links after the break for background …

Photoblog: Cleaning up the Snake River – This story looks at 2009 efforts to understand how the heavy metals from the abandoned Pennsylvania Mine move through the river system.

Soaring cost estimates for Snake River cleanup – Hopes to clean up the Snake to a point where it can support a self-sustaining fishery hinge in large part on the project costs.

Three Snake River cleanup projects set for summer – Some smaller clean-up project that don’t directly address discharge from the abandoned mine could bring incremental improvements to water quality.

The abandoned Pennsylvania Mine is the source of much of the acid mine drainage that has elevated levels of zinc, cadmium and other metals in the Snake River to levels toxic to fish several miles downstream.
Wading upstream, two volunteers work to shock and net trout as part of an annual survey of the fishery in the Snake River at Keystone, Colorado.


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