Mutated Trout Cause Concern Over Mine Selenium

February 25, 2012 By: Marshall Cutchin

As Leslie Kaufman wrote in Friday’s New York Times, alarms raised years ago by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition are getting noticed by more conservationists and scientists as the discovery of trout mutations in southern Idaho creeks gets more coverage.  The  J. R. Simplot Company, who runs mining operations in the area, requested that the EPA relax its rules for allowable selenium in water affected by the mines.  “While Dr. [David Janz, an aquatic toxicology professor at the University of Saskatchewan] said that such malformations do occur naturally in the wild, he said he thought selenium pollution most likely played a role in this case. ‘Selenium is emerging as a pollutant of global concern,’ he said. ‘We need to be careful here.’”

Cory Hatch first reported on February 8 of the discovery of two-headed trout and the denial by J.R. Simplot that they new of the discovery.