It’s Like Deja Vu all Over Again!

Another f****** mining mess on another trout stream. This summers victim? The historic Animas River in SW Colorado. I used to hang out in the country a bit years ago. The Animas is a very cool river, and used to hold the Colorado state record Brown Trout.

Here’s a good, brief, description of the Animas River, it’s history and fishing from Duranglers in Durango Co.

You can read all about it in the link below. Sounds like the EPA was investigating an old mine with a revoked permit and there was a breach. I’m sure some will jump on the EPA. Let’s wait and see. Probably one of those old mining disasters that no one can figure out how to clean up. There’s a few of those around Montana.


Animas River fouled by 1 million gallons of contaminated mine water

I do love how the fly fishing community jumps this shit quick on Social Media these days. Facebook was buzzing last night.

Mining is such a short-sighted practice. The only reasons I can see to develop a new mine in a fragile ecosystem are:

  1. More money!
  2. Right now!

Hopefully incidents like this (and last summers Mount Polley disaster in BC) will convince citizens to stand up to mining interests that are motivated by nothing but greed. But we have to keep on it, like the devoted Bristol Bay crowd. The mining companies know that if they wait long enough, we will forget.



proposed Yellowstone Valley Mine

Use the comments to add any other mining projects that you know of in the works, especially if they threaten any of the worlds fisheries.

Header photo – KOB 4 News New Mexico

Following photo – Michael Constantine/Denver Herald

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  • Dick Raisler
    August 7, 2015 8:53 am

    Right on John. SAVEOURSMITH

  • Parrot Tailings Plume in Butte, MT. Threatens Silver Bow Creek and Clark Fork River.

  • The EPA screwed this one up. Not only did they let the crap into the Animas, they took forever to respond once they fucked it up. Guess they are focused on the war against coal…..

  • Now appears that the EPA released three times the amount originally estimated into the creek.–emergency-durango-la-plata-county/31381113/

  • Thanks for the article guys. This whole situation is a stressful one for us here in Durango, but we are holding out hope that in the long run this will bring more focus on the situation with the Animas and Silverton mines. Like you said, many mining practices are so shortsighted but have long lasting effects.

    Truth be told, these mines have been leeching heavy metals and toxins into the Animas for a while now. It’s almost as if the trout and aquatic invertebrates in Durango have evolved to survive in water that, while beautiful looking, has high concentrations of heavy metals, alkalies, and a higher ph count. The sad part is the farther upstream you go, the worse the bug and fish life is until you get to Silverton…where nothing survives.

    We are hoping and praying that while this disaster sucks in the interim, the long term will see the Animas recover better than ever. If you were ever fortunate enough to ride the Durango/Silverton narrow gauge railroad, then you have seen the upper Animas canyon. Quite possibly the best looking trout water in the state that holds very few fish.

    Thanks again for the blog post. Here is to hoping that we seen these incidents decline in our lifetime.

    Andy McKinley
    Duranglers Flies and Supplies
    Durango, Colorado

  • River users are asking that the EPA be held accountable for its own toxic spill. If private industry had released this plume of toxic metals, they’d be swinging from the rafters. See here:

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