Hot Springs resort may be fined for fish kill in Colorado River | AspenTimes.com

Hot Springs resort may be fined for fish kill in Colorado River

John Stroud
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – State wildlife and public health officials will seek a fine against the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool for an accidental release of chlorine bleach mixture into the Colorado River that apparently killed scores of fish earlier this month.

Several people fishing near Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs alerted the Colorado Division of Wildlife to a number of dead fish in the river around 11:30 a.m. that day. Wildlife officers and biologists gathered water samples and collected 84 dead fish from the area.

The spill allegedly happened during pool maintenance procedures Nov. 2. That same day, the DOW was made aware of a “spill report” filed by the Hot Springs Pool with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Steve Gunderson, director of the state health department’s water quality control division, said the report indicated that about 190 gallons of 10 percent chlorine bleach mixture was discharged into the river by mistake between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 2.

“It was a maintenance error. Instead of going where it was intended, it went directly into the river,” Gunderson said at the time.

“The division has been in touch with the Hot Springs Pool regarding the incident and informed them that we are moving forward with civil proceedings as a result of the spill incident,” DOW spokesman Randy Hampton said Wednesday.

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The action is being pursued under Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) 33-6-110, he said.

“The statute sets the value of each game fish at $35,” he said, meaning the Hot Springs Pool could be fined up to $2,940 for the number of fish that were known to be killed.

“Our goal in this action will be to provide for the replacement of fish lost due to the spill,” Hampton said. “The manner of that replacement [when, how and where] will be determined as we work through this issue. We appreciate the cooperation of the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool in this matter.”

Hot Springs Pool General Manager Kjell Mitchell could not be immediately reached for comment late Wednesday afternoon.

jstroud@postindependent.com