Scientists study stormwater, deadly to salmon

November 17, 2014 by Phuong Le

A team of researchers is running experiments this fall to understand what happens when salmon are exposed to rain runoff collected from one of Seattle's busiest highways.

Salmon submerged in the everyday toxic brew of dirt, metals, oil and other gunk that washes off highway pavement after rains didn't survive for even four hours.

But when that was filtered through a simple mixture of gravel, sand and compost, the outlook was much brighter. Salmon exposed to treated water were healthy and responsive, even after 24 hours.

The research being conducted by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington State University and U.S. Fish and Wildlife offers a promising solution to stormwater pollution, a major problem for Puget Sound and other streams and lakes in the nation.

Explore further: Biologists identify pot gardens as salmon threat

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