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FWP Lifts Fish Advisory After Yellowstone River Oil Spill

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout
U.S. Forest Service
Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout

It's ok to eat the fish downstream of last winter's big oil spill on the Yellowstone River. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has lifted an advisory urging people to use caution when eating fish caught near the break in the Bridger Pipeline near Glendive.

That January spill dumped about 30,000 gallons of crude into the river. Most of the oil hasn't been recovered.

FWP's Bob Gibson says biologists tested over 200 fish downstream of the spill site.

"They test the filets or the muscle meat, the stuff that people would normally eat. That's what we're saying came back clean with no detectable levels of petroleum," Gibson said.

While the crude may not have tainted the edible meat of the fish, Gibson says oil byproducts may have possibly accumulated in the fish organs which are usually discarded by humans.

"We'll still worry about whether there's an accumulation (of oil) so that we can tell whether those fish truly were exposed to oil and how much, or whether they were someplace else when the oil went down."

Gibson says those cumulative test results are expected to be released any day now.

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