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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Trout Kill on the Sacramento River


File:Headwaters of the Sacramento River-750px.JPG

Pathfinding in dark byways
and searching pools, shooting deeper
channels of another world's
pitches and reaches; mute blue

spaces, intuitions of the
sightless, soundings of light in cool
alleys of current; aerated
displacement of water around

smooth propulsion that loses
resistance as it moves into
a greenish ooze of lethal
effluvium from another world.

Headwaters of the Sacramento River: photo by Daniel Mayer, 2003

(On the night of July 14, 1991, a "worst case scenario" befell the Upper Sacramento. A Southern Pacific railroad tanker car derailed on the sharp Cantara Loop curve just 2 miles upstream from a trout camp. The tanker car dumped 19,000 gallons of the potent soil fumigant-pesticide, metam sodium, into the river. The chemical quickly dispersed into the swiftly moving river and formed several highly toxic compounds. These compounds killed all aquatic life for miles.)


misharialadwani said...

Lovely and for me (as a keen fly fisherman) painful to read...I do most of my fishing in Spain and the casual attitude of the Spanish (and I speak as a near-rabid Hispanophile) to the dumping of trash in streams is also troubling.

And when there's no clean stream, no clean air, no green space left, the idiots will say "Why did no-one warn us..."

TC/BTP said...


Yes, there seems an elegiac element in any manifestation of natural beauty these days.

So much is flown or fleeting... once touched by the human.