VERDE HERITAGE 1970: Fish Are Again In The Verde River

"There are fish again in the Verde River following the poisoning of its waters last week. Six miles of the river from the Camp Verde bridge downstream through a popular cat-fishing area was poisoned."

"The herbicide Magnicide had been used to kill weeds and Johnson grass along a farm ditch bank. Roger Gruenwald, assistant director of the Game and Fish Department, said department investigations indicate some of the poisoning started Tuesday, June 2, when some of the chemical got into the river. A second poisoning took place June 4."

"The basic chemical in the herbicide is acrolein which is highly toxic to fish and other aquatic life. It is readily soluble in water and loses its toxicity within about 48 hours."

"Residents of the area were warned not to use the water and to remove livestock from the area as a precautionary measure. However, the dosage that would be required to kill mammals would be much greater than the amounts that kill aquatic life and it is believed little danger to humans resulted."

"The chemical also poisoned snails, nymphs, aquatic bugs, frogs and minnows upon which the fish feed, as well as the fish. The stream contains channel cats, smallmouth and largemouth bass, sunfish, boneytails, suckers and the newly stocked northern pike."

"The river is now safe and there was fishing in the area over the weekend the wildlife management Region 2 office in Flagstaff reports."

"The matter will come before the Game and Fish Commission board at their July meeting at which time a decision will be made as to whether charges will be filed against the farmer who used the chemical."

"Making the investigation were Wayne Anderson, Fred Phillips, and Jim Hicks, wildlife management supervisory personnel from the Region 2 office in Flagstaff, Howard McDonald, fisheries project assistant, and Jim Bruce, chief of coldwater fisheries, both from the Phoenix office."

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, June 11, 1970; page 1.)

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