Eco-terrorism kills 18,000 salmon from hatchery

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Police have arrested a 20-year-old man suspected of killing almost 18,000 young Chinook salmon by pouring bleach into a rearing pond at a fish hatchery in Reedsport, Ore., according to The Washington Times. The fish raised in the Salmon Trout Enhancement Program would have been released into the lower Umpqua River. A Douglas County sheriff’s deputy spotted Joshua Heckathorn behind a locked gate at the hatchery and arrested him. Heckathorn faces felony charges of second-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief, and unlawful taking of Chinook salmon, and misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and making a toxic substance available to wildlife. A conviction could mean as many as five years in prison and millions of dollars in fines. Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Levi Harris described the crimes as senseless.

OPB reports, “Ironically, it was Earth Day,” Yates said. “We were highly concerned that it was eco-terrorists.”

Some environmentalists dislike fish hatcheries.  The attack occurred on Earth Day.

Oregon Fish and Wildlife said, “President of the GRWB STEP program.”You get attached to those fish,” Yates said, “When nature does something, it’s crushing. But it’s nature and it happens. But when someone comes in and does something like this, you can’t wrap your head around it. We have so many hours wrapped up in those fish, to have someone come in so cavalier, and kill them, it doesn’t make sense.””The volunteers have spent hundreds of hours raising those fish,” Yates said, “It’s an incredible time investment, and they mean a lot to people.”

(OFDW photo)