MARANA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima County officials confirm that some fish died when they were stranded after the diversion of effluent flowing in the Santa Cruz River. The flow diversion was necessary for bridge construction on Ina Road.
According to a news release, the diversion moved the flow from the west bank of the river to the east bank, "resulting in the death of some fish," which were caught in pools as the water level lowered.
The release, which called the death of the fish unfortunate, said there is no practical way to remove these non-native fish.
Amphibians were said to be affected by the channel change, but not as severely as the fish.
The release pointed out that the presence of the fish and amphibians is a result of improvement to two wastewater plants along the river. Before 2013, the effluent was too concentrated to support much aquatic life.
County biologists estimate that the number of fish harmed by the diversion is a small percentage of the fish in the river.
The Ina Road project began in January and is expected to last through 2018. After the bridge is completed, there will be Loop trail underpasses on each side of the river, new access ramps to Ina Road, and new bike lanes and sidewalks along the road.