South Platte Sludge First Discovered by Flyfisher

December 4, 2011 By: Benjamin Clary

On a recent fishing trip to the South Platte in the Denver area, Trevor Tanner immediately knew something was not right.  The events that followed attest to the benefits of a thriving online, fly-fishing community.

Tanner, who first reported the spill on his blog Fly-Carpin, imagined “sirens blazing” when he called Colorado authorities.  However, four hours later Tanner got a call from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  Authorities said they had walked the water and not seen anything.  Not satisfied, a reader of Tanner’s blog contacted Bruce Finley at the Denver Post, who then contacted the EPA.

Eventually, it was discovered that Suncor Energy is responsible for the leak of a “gasoline-like material” which contains the cancer-causing benzene, according to Finley.  So far no public health warnings have been issued. But EPA emergency response manager Curtis Kimbel advised not drinking the water from Sand Creek.  Implications for the fishery are unknown.