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Red Butte Creek Oil Spill: Frequently Asked Questions
How Did Crude Oil Affect Red Butte Creek?
Crude oil is toxic to aquatic life, including: water birds, fish, and aquatic bugs (invertebrates). Waterfowl from Liberty Park pond were impacted by the crude oil. The majority of birds exposed were Canada Geese but the majority of birds that died were Mallard ducks.
- Captured—364 birds (this does not include 11 goose eggs, 12 duck eggs, and 5 ducklings)
- Washed/Cleaned—361 birds; released 328 birds
- Dead on Arrival—1 bird (this does not include 11 goose eggs, 12 duck eggs, and 5 ducklings)
- Euthanized—9 birds
- Died—27 birds
The oil appears to have little direct effects on fish because no dead fish were observed or reported in Red Butte Creek during the clean-up response. Ultimately, approximately 500 fish collected from Liberty Park pond were euthanized. Live fish were observed in Red Butte Creek after the spill.
The macroinvertebrates in Red Butte Creek were severely impacted by the oil and subsequent cleanup activities. As of April 2011, the bugs have not fully recovered. Get more information on the bug monitoring at Red Butte.