Riley Starks of Lummi Island Wild shows Tuesday three of the farm raised Atlantic salmon that were caught alongside healthy Kings in Point Williams. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

Riley Starks of Lummi Island Wild shows Tuesday three of the farm raised Atlantic salmon that were caught alongside healthy Kings in Point Williams. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

Group to sue after farmed salmon spill into Puget Sound

The Associated Press

SEATTLE — A conservation group plans to sue after net pens at a salmon farm off Cypress Island collapsed, spilling thousands of Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound.

The Wild Fish Conservancy says it gave Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture notice Friday that it will sue for violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

The company’s farm off Cypress Island held 305,000 Atlantic salmon, a non-native species. Cooke doesn’t yet know how many fish escaped.

The conservation group says the release poses a threat to struggling wild fish populations. It alleges the fish spill violates pollution laws because it sent farmed salmon, dead carcasses and other debris into the water.

Cooke spokesman Chuck Brown said in a statement that the company will review the group’s claim but is currently focus on recovering the fish and preventing further releases.

State and tribal fisheries managers are urging anglers to catch as many as possible to protect native fish species.

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