Aamjiwnaang First Nation

Dead Fish in Talfourd Creek

The following is an email response from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) regarding the dead fish seen in Talfourd Creek in December that also relates to the dead fish noticed in the creek February 11-12, 2017:

“Sorry for the delay. We were waiting to hear back from Shell on their MISA data and due to illness, was not able to get it until late last week.

Ministry staff observed dead fish of one species while other species of fish were alive and in good condition. The dead fish could also be observed upstream of Shell’s outfall. The Shad species of fish are very sensitive to temperature changes and periods of cold temperatures and the weather data for that time showed mild temperatures followed by a sudden drop on December 16, 2016 with a low of -16.2 C and a high of -6.1 C. The cold temperatures continued on December 19, 20 and 21st with a return to milder temperatures on December 22 and 23rd. This short temperature drop would explain the Shad die off in Talfourd Creek as well as other species of fish showing no signs of distress. Natural Shad die-offs in the winter are a common occurrence in this area.

Shell Canada reported to the ministry that their outfall analyzer did not detect any contaminants of concern. Shell Canada proactively took samples of Talfourd Creek as a precautionary measure, in the event new information became available that warranted analysis of the samples. Since there were no operational upsets or spills at Shell and ministry observations indicated natural causes, Shell did not proceed with analysis of their samples and ministry staff did not collect samples. Ministry staff obtained Shell’s sampling data for their MISA outfall and reviewed the data around the time of the fish die-off (December 17 to December 24, 2016). The data showed that the discharge criteria for the MISA outfall was met during that time.”

Shell had contacted Aamjiwnaang to confirm that there were no releases or upsets at their facility Feb 10-12, 2017 that would cause the die-off of the fish noticed in Talfourd Creek. As a result, no CVECO Codes were issued for this incident.

Follow up is taking place with the MOECC with respect to reports received regarding this most recent incident. Any information will be provided once it is available.