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Washington: Pesticides Banned to Protect Salmon

by the Fish Site Editor
19 November 2008, at 12:00am

US - Restrictions are being applied to Washington farmers on pesticide use in order to protect salmon populations.

The pesticides are common in the state's apple and cherry orchards, potato fields and berry farms, says TheSeattleTimes. Restrictions could cover big swaths of Washington farmland where streams carry a variety of federally protected salmon and steelhead, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

According to the news agency, that includes orchards around Wenatchee and Yakima and Western Washington agricultural centers in Skagit and Whatcom counties. One of the pesticides, chlorpyrifos, also is used on golf courses. Another, malathion, is used by some public-health agencies to kill mosquitoes.

Under the rules, the pesticides couldn't be used within 500 feet of streams that carry salmon. Crop dusters would have to stay even farther away, and farmers using the pesticides would have to leave 20-foot strips of land uncultivated along drainage ditches and streams that are home to the fish.

the Fish Site Editor