Valley creek fishkill 1/14/22

surfsong78

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Went out after work today on an upper stretch of valley and notice a blueish tint in the water I've never seen. As I made my way to a spot that usually holds I noticed a whitish belly of a dead fish. As I looked more I saw another and another. I walked further down and white bellies everywhere. Some fish barley kicking in circles. It was one of the most disheartening things I've ever seen. What could have caused this?
 

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afishinado

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Please report the location to the PFBC immediately.

Area 6
448 Haycock Run Road
Bucksville, PA 18953
Telephone: (610) 847-2442
Fax: (610) 847-8424
 

lestrout

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Yo Surf - Thanks for your sad message. Here's what I've found, talking to the VFTU members and WCO Bob Bonney:

The AQUA 12 inch main broke some before 8:00am. It is upstream near Great Valley High School, and the break was bad enough to shut down Rte 401.
AQUA reported it directly to DEP
A VFTU member saw the problem and reported it about 8:10am
Bob Bonney was on vacation and we let him know directly, so he jumped down to the creek
He and a VFTU member counted a couple hundred dead fish, but the water got too turbid to see the bottom
The USGS gave showed a very sharp spike, uncharacteristic of stormwater surges, from about 20 cfs to 40 cfs (about double). The spike down there lasted about an hour, starting about 12:30pm.

By now the rest of the stream will have cleared, and the (dead) fish count will resume tomorrow Saturday morning about 10:00am. Some of the VFTU will be there to help Bonney, and if anyone here wants to help, come join this sad effort. We'll use the Valley Creek Park on Rte 29 for parking and as the base:

361 N Morehall Rd, Malvern, PA 19355, United States, GPS: 40.0606,-75.53193
 
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afishinado

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Below is the flow from yesterday (no rain to raise the level). The gage is miles downstream and the flow doubled from 20cfs to near 40cfs. A lot of water chlorinated was released throughout the stream. Unbelievable we still have trout in Valley, or did up 'til now.... Valley Creek Flow   Fish Kill
 

troutbert

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Is this drinking water? And it has enough chlorine in it to kill hundreds of trout even when diluted by the stream water?

If so, that doesn't seem like a good thing for humans to be drinking.
 

HopBack

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I don't like drinking tap water but its fine for humans. The fish kill is due largely to a sudden change in water chemistry and temperature. Trout can survive in some less than ideal water conditions if they are allowed to adapt over time. Think the Lackawana or really any streams with AMD. Hell, some of my best trout have come from streams filled with things like shopping carts and old tires, paint cans, oil drums, or whatever other nasty thing you can dream up.

This certainly isnt the type of condition we all strive for but we often think trout only survive in pristine waters. Valley has some well documented issues other then the water and sewer concerns but trout still
somehow flourish.

You also have to remember that the flow was doubled, so there is not much dilution going on there.
 

tjsingle

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Fished Valley Creek in the park yesterday, unaware of the water main break. Covered bridge through Chesterbrook.

Nothing abnormal, typical rising fish and saw plenty, and no dead fish to be seen.

Hopefully dilution through the stream in the upper reaches minimizes the impact.
 

Prospector

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Fished Valley Creek in the park yesterday, unaware of the water main break. Covered bridge through Chesterbrook.

Nothing abnormal, typical rising fish and saw plenty, and no dead fish to be seen.

Hopefully dilution through the stream in the upper reaches minimizes the impact.
That sounds encouraging. What time were you there? The spike on the gauge seems to be at 1pm with the tail consistently diminishing until about 11pm.
 

tjsingle

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That sounds encouraging. What time were you there? The spike on the gauge seems to be at 1pm with the tail consistently diminishing until about 11pm.
I was fishing from about 1230 PM until 430 PM. Had no problem finding eager fish, and plenty of them. A lot of risers around 2PM, but once the wind picked up that dropped off quickly. There were other anglers out as well.
 

lestrout

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The dozen or so VFTU and other citizens that showed up on short notice today wound up search operations about 1:00pm. Thanks for the help. The kill zone appears confined to the Ecology Park down to Knickerbocker Landfill section, but hundreds of dead trout were found, along with twice as many other species. Undoubtedly the macroinvertebrates were also wiped out. Based on past history, now that the water is clean and the chlorine has dissipated, repopulation from both upstream and downstream will take place and by a few months from now, it will be hard to see anything bad has happened. It sure was cold out there (coldest day for several years, but at least the sun was out and the wind wasn't too bad). Temps were 15 degrees at 10:00am and rose to 20 or so by 1:00pm. Fishkill270097760 1383309478753154 2821693906296107547 n
 
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Mike

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If you have ever owned a tropical fish aquarium or even a goldfish bowl you have most likely heard that you should not put tap water directly into either if it is chlorinated. Rather, you should let the water sit out for two to three days to allow the chlorine to degrade and blow off, mostly degrade. Likewise for keeping baitfish alive for fishing.

Chlorine degrades in sunlight, thus the reason why you have to keep adding it to a swimming pool and that’s why you leave it sit out for a few days before dumping it into an aquarium or into your baitfish bucket.
 
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Prospector

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The dozen or so VFTU and other citizens that showed up on short notice today wound up search operations about 1:00pm. Thanks for the help. The kill zone appears confined to the Ecology Park down to Knickerbocker Landfill section, but hundreds of dead trout were found, along with twice as many other species. Undoubtedly the macroinvertebrates were also wiped out. Based on past history, now that the water is clean and the chlorine has dissipated, repopulation from both upstream and downstream will take place and by a few months from now, it will be hard to see anything bad has happened. It sure was cold out there (coldest day for several years, but at least the sun was out and the wind wasn't too bad). Temps were 15 degrees at 10:00am and rose to 20 or so by 1:00pm. View attachment 1641224051
Any feedback on the size of the larger trout that were found?

Edit….sorry I just saw Mute’s post. 18” a shame
 
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Nymph-wristed

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The dozen or so VFTU and other citizens that showed up on short notice today wound up search operations about 1:00pm. Thanks for the help. The kill zone appears confined to the Ecology Park down to Knickerbocker Landfill section, but hundreds of dead trout were found, along with twice as many other species. Undoubtedly the macroinvertebrates were also wiped out. Based on past history, now that the water is clean and the chlorine has dissipated, repopulation from both upstream and downstream will take place and by a few months from now, it will be hard to see anything bad has happened. It sure was cold out there (coldest day for several years, but at least the sun was out and the wind wasn't too bad). Temps were 15 degrees at 10:00am and rose to 20 or so by 1:00pm. View attachment 1641224051
Just saw this post, Les. Thanks to you and your crew for doing what you could.
 

redietz

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Chlorine degrades in sunlight, thus the reason why you have to keep adding it to a swimming pool and that’s why you leave it sit out for a few days before dumping it into an aquarium or into your baitfish bucket.
Being really nit picking here, but chlorine doesn't degrade; it's an element and can't.* Hypochlorite (which is what people use to chlorinate swimming pool) degrades in sunlight, turning into chlorine gas, which then evaporates from the water.

Most water and wastewater treatment plants use chlorine gas directly.

* Being even more nit picking, chlorine gas (Cl2) is really a molecule, and could be torn apart, but that doesn't happen.
 
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