Hundreds of fish are being caught in the Columbia River as part of the cleanup efforts at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
RICHLAND — Hundreds of fish are being caught in the Columbia River as part of the cleanup efforts at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
The Tri-City Herald reports the U.S. Department of Energy wants to check how contamination from Hanford has affected the Columbia River’s fish.
Plans call for 530 fish to be caught and tested in labs.
Their organs will be tested for any Hanford chemicals or radionuclides that could harm someone eating the fish.
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Environmental Assessment Services of Richland has been contracted to fish the waters. They are using commercial-fishing techniques to catch as many fish as possible.
This past week they fished for sturgeon and walleye, but they have also caught bass and whitefish. One hundred carp and suckers are next on the list of fish they need to catch.
The fishing teams are keeping only fish that are 43 to 54 inches long.
Crews will use electrofishing to catch some of the fish. That technique includes running an electric current into the water from a boat to stun the fish.
But walleyes need to be caught with a fishing pole. The crew from Environmental Assessment Services has caught 27 and will continue fishing until they reach 100.
The collection of fish is part of a comprehensive study of Hanford. It also includes sampling of river water, soil on Hanford islands and sediment from the river.
The findings will go into final cleanup plans for land around Hanford.