Truck crash spills 77,000 fish into river

THE Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports a fish tanker truck was involved in an accident while transporting around 102,000 spring Chinook smolts for release in the Imnaha River.

The truck driver is safe but received minor injuries. The accident occurred on a sharp corner with the 53-foot truck rolling onto the passenger side, skidding on its side on the pavement, and then going over a rocky embankment causing it to roll onto its roof.

About 77,000 smolt made it into the creek when the tanker overturned but 25,529 died and were recovered either in the tanker or on the streambank.

The lost smolt represent about 20 percent of the total that will be released into the Imnaha River this year. Fishery managers expect to see about 500-900 fewer adult fish returning in 2026 and 2027 due to the loss. The 77,000 fish that made it into Lookingglass Creek will likely return there and produce approximately 350-700 additional adults.

IMAGES: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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