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Most fish survive after tanker truck crashes near creek, spilling 100K salmon

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A fish tanker truck crash and cargo spill in northeast Oregon had a better-than-expected ending, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).

On March 29, a fish tanker truck driven by a ODFW employee crashed as the truck took a sharp corner, “with the 53-foot truck rolling onto the passenger side, skidding on its side on the pavement, and then going over a rocky embankment causing it to roll onto its roof.”

The tanker truck driver only suffered minor injuries.

The tanker was loaded with 102,000 spring Chinook smolts (young Chinook salmon) when the crash occurred.

The crash caused the fish to spill out of the tanker.

Because the crash occurred close to Lookingglass Creek, 77,000 of the fish made it to water and survived.

“We are thankful the ODFW employee driving the truck was not seriously injured, said Andrew Gibbs, ODFW fish hatchery coordinator for Eastern Oregon. “This should not impact our ability to collect future brood stock or maintain full production goals in the future.”

The fish were raised by Lookingglass Hatchery and were being transported to stock the Imnaha River for recreational and tribal harvests and to help with dwindling populations of wild salmon.

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