Well, this is certainly a type of chemical spill we didn’t think we’d be covering. On January 22nd at Rodney Strong Vineyards, a blending tank door burst open releasing 97,112 gallons of cabernet sauvignon red wine into a feeder creek of the Russian River. According to a spokesman for Rodney Strong Vineyards, they estimate that around 20% of the spilled wine made it into the Russian River.
Don McEnhill the executive director of Russian Riverkeeper remarked on the spill, stating that although no fish deaths have been reported yet, the wine in the river will likely kill off a large portion of the river’s insect population. A loss of this important food source for the river’s steelhead, salmon and trout will without a doubt have effects on the rivers fish populations.
McEnhill went on to say, “We’re lucky in that it’s winter, the rivers high, there’s a fair amount of dilution. We haven’t had any reports of fish kills, certainly, the biochemical oxygen demand and the acidity of the wine is going to kill some smaller insect type things that are fish food. This could have been a lot worse.”
The Russian River is a popular Steelhead, Salmon and trout river in the region that flows into the Pacific Ocean just north of San Francisco, CA.
To read more about the spill, check out this article from ABC 7 News!