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Fishermen Get Good News About Animas River After Mine Spill

SILVERTON, Colo. (CBS4) - The cleanup is underway after a spill from the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado.

The spill that was triggered by the Environmental Protection Agency sent three million gallons of wastewater into the Animas River last August.

Animas river_trail
Animas River (credit:

On Friday the EPA mobilized contractors to stabilize the mine and the waste pile. The new work will include putting in a concrete barrier and a temporary water treatment plant.

PHOTO GALLERY: Gold King Mine Tour

Wildlife officials shared some good news, saying their testing shows the fish survived with no evidence of die-offs. But the problems are far from over.

"Hopefully it brought some awareness to that, and hopefully they start to clean some of that stuff up so that it will still hold fish for a long time," fisherman Max Westheimer said.

animas river
Animas River (credit: La Plata County)

The spill drew attention to the thousands of abandoned mines throughout the West that may also pollute rivers.

"I work in a fly shop and I say once or twice a day someone will ask, 'Are the fish okay? Is it safe to be in the Animas?'" fisherman Joe Genualdi said.

It's estimated the mine cleanup will cost billions.

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