Saturday, November 16, 2019

Salmon are spawning in most contaminated waters in South Dakota


The death of the Missouri River ecosystem in South Dakota began with the European invasion, was accelerated by the Homestake Mining Company and sealed with the construction of the mainstem dams. Today, the US Army Corps of Engineers has cancelled Spring Pulses on the Missouri River not because of low flows but because the sediment is so poisonous it would kill the very species it says it's trying to preserve. Endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury throughout the South Dakota portion of the Missouri River.
And there's probably more salmon to be found in unusual places in South Dakota because of this year's flooding, said Geno Adams, fisheries program administrator at South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. An angler submitted a photo to the state agency this week of a salmon caught in Firesteel Creek, a tributary of the James River near Mitchell. "We encourage people to harvest those salmon if they catch one, if they want to. You can throw it back, there's nothing illegal about it," he said. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
As South Dakota's GOP congressional delegation seek to block efforts by the US Environmental Protection Agency as it works to identify the sources of pollution the state's residents are getting scared.
The Firesteel Creek watershed begins in the Wessington Springs area and ends at Mitchell. The farming community along this watershed is likely responsible for the high concentration of nitrogen from crop fertilization runoff. This nitrogen is responsible for the yearly algae bloom in Lake Mitchell. Recently it has been noted the lake also has a high concentration of fecal bacteria. That indicates livestock along the creek are also poisoning our water supply. Farming and land management preferences do not trump the safety and well-being of 15,000-plus citizens. [LTE, Lake pollution needs to be fixed]
Working with EPA, South Dakota's US Attorney stepped in after the state's Republican-owned Department of Ecocide and Natural Ruination (DENR) discovered a California man's damming of Bear Butte Creek violating federal Clean Water rules. But if you think DENR is going to come down on GOP donors you have another think coming.

David Ellingson and his Ortonville, Minnesota-area honey-producing family sued the EPA for not regulating the neonicotinoids killing their colonies. I worked for their operation one summer between semesters at South Dakota State University. It was one on the most fascinating lessons of this life. South Dakota beekeeper Adee Honey Farms also blames neonicotinoids for colony losses according to WNAX.

Every ag product, meats both wild and domestic not grown organically in South Dakota is contaminated with atrazine, neonicotinoids, glyphosate, dicamba, DDT, mercury, lead, cadmium, PFOs, E. coli, Shigella, Legionella and other toxins. That's probably true everywhere in the United States. Country of Origin Labeling was repealed in 2015 to shield American meat from scrutiny.

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