[Fosc] Some thoughts on the Trout Kill

Mjrauz at aol.com Mjrauz at aol.com
Fri Feb 8 08:42:44 PST 2008


First of all, had Kathren Stevenson, our Restoration Director, not looked 
into El Centro pool, we would not have known of this fish kill. Many thanks to 
Kathren's alertness and the City's responsiveness. This underscores the value of 
FOSC. We add immense value to the watershed. 

The kill was evidently caused by a dumping of a painting solvent into the 
gutter on Oakmore Ave. that drains into a side tributary at the turnaround area. 
The fumes were noxious on the trail and worse at the drain. Craig Pons of the 
City collected some white liquid for analysis and Kathren collected a fish for 
EPA tissue analysis. 

It is of interest to note that 11 trout died in the stretch of creek from the 
turnaround area downstream to some point. The floaters drifted down and fell 
into the El Centro Pool and sank. No trout were seen downstream by me of this 
point. So that (was) a pretty healthy population in a small stretch of 
restored streambank.   While I was there, so was a Great Blue Heron perched in the 
alders above the kill site probably looking for easy pickings. I hope a toxic 
food chain doesn't develop.

The heron had easy access because of the downed trees at Benevides. The Tree 
Service finished cutting up the Benevides oak branches, and took it all down 
to the stumps, so the tree cannot resproat from any branches. (I'll refrain 
from any further comment about this).

It occurred to me however, that the fallen oak have have been a victim of 
wind throw. The previous removal of tall acacias were taken down and the next big 
storm with high winds toppled the oak. The forest structure changed and may 
have exposed the oak to more wind and with wet earth, it fell. We must consider 
our role in its demise. And the hard-learned lesson here may be the value of 
alien trees.

This area is across from the fish kill and looks like FOSC has work to do to 
repair the areas. If we don't, then nobody will. And again that is the immense 
value of FOSC and I wonder how many outside of this list really appreciate 
this fact. "We all live downstream."

Mark J. Rauzon
Friends of Sausal Creek-Board President
4701 Edgewood Ave.
Oakland, CA 94602
mjrauz at aol.com
510-531-3887



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