A Tragic Fish Tale
On Saturday, Sept 7, someone from Blythe took her kids on what was to have been a fishing expedition. The trip was aborted after they found the dead fish that you see in the photo above in in a canal off 26th, in the Palo Verde Valley. She would later tell me that the smell was terrible! She returned the following day and took the photos you see on this page.
Her father emailed me that, "Attached you will find pictures of the contamination of the Colorado River. The farmers have continued using pesticides and herbicides that have continued to contaminate the Colorado River besides all the rest of the trash that is thrown into it by the communities above Blythe. These pictures show all the dead fish and the slime that’s above the water in the canal that will end up in the Colorado River, 50 yards away. What you are seeing on the attachments according to some of our farmworker informants happens all the time when they are going to irrigate the new fields where they are going to grow vegetables or fruits."
Neither the father nor daughter wishes to be identified. In a subsequent telephone conversation, the father mentioned similar incidents at Needles and Yuma.
A couple of other people accompanied the woman back to the canal on Sunday. One, who also does not wish to be identified, said they were irrigating the field and there had been someone sitting in a truck when they were taking the pictures. She added that there had been problems in that area for years and her doctor (Spellberg), now deceased, used to tell them not to swim in the Colorado River because he was encountering so many ear, eye and other infections.
There were two important facts that I did not obtain at this point. Firstly, the father neglected to tell me that he took a water sample on Sunday, tested it with "PRO-LAB Pesticides in Water Do it Yourself Test Kit" and the result was positive. Secondly, I did not think to ask when the dead fish were found. These were both important facts.
My first step was to contact the San Diego County Water Authority, which obtains 60% of its water from the Colorado River.
Read more at San Diego Loves Green.
Photo via San Diego Loves Green.