Nearly two months after the Cypress Island spill sent more than 100,000 unasked for Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound waters, Washington’s salmon farming industry continues to blunder along—big time. Recent headlines reveal an attempt at bribery, evidence of another pen on the brink of collapse, and a permit approval from the state for juvenile Atlantic salmon to be transferred into that very pen.

In response to public concerns, the Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC) has embarked on a new project that will utilize independent labs to test samples of Atlantic salmon strays for various toxins and diseases.

What might they find? WFC says the tests will “help us determine the extent to which escaped, farmed Atlantic salmon are safe for human consumption, and their potential for spreading pathogens to wild fish.”

The samples also present a groundbreaking opportunity due to the fact that fresh, whole, farmed Atlantic salmon are almost impossible to obtain under normal circumstances. “We believe this work is essential to gain knowledge that will inform policymakers and the public going forward, and time is of the essence,” WFC adds.

Estimated costs for the testing will be upwards of $30k. WFC is asking for donations to help fund the effort, which is connected to its “Our Sound, Our Salmon” campaign.

Learn more, here.

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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