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Our top story of 2019: vandalism kills 700,000 chum salmon

As 2019 comes to a close today, the newsroom is taking a look back at our most engaging stories of the year.

It turns out that the top one came very early on.

Vandalism led to the deaths of 700,000 chum salmon at the Powell River Salmon Society hatchery at Duck Lake that came to light in January was our most-read story.

Those responsible tampered with nine flow valves at the site which led to a lack of oxygen in the water.

Officials told that they had never had any issues with vandalism or tampering before this incident in the hatchery’s 35 years of operation. 

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There were no security cameras at the hatchery when the fish were killed, which made for a challenging investigation.

At the time, the society said it believed that vandalism could affect salmon stocks for the next 16 years, although it wouldn’t really know the true extent of the damage for four years.

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