Fish killed at power plant may exceed $30 million a year

Court values bass alone at $50 apiece

Economic impacts of Lake Erie fisheries. source: Gentner Consulting Group

TOLEDO — “If $30 million worth of fish sounds like a lot for northwest Ohio’s economy to sacrifice each year for electricity generated by Oregon’s Bay Shore power plant, consider this: The real impact might be a lot greater.

On Wednesday, as a number of nonprofit groups were releasing what is believed to be the region’s first-ever report to quantify the annual loss of 60 million fish in dollars, Magistrate Lou Wargo of Ottawa County Municipal Court in Port Clinton issued a court order that put the value of smallmouth bass at $50 a fish on behalf of the state of Ohio.

The figure is almost triple the $16.77 value placed on smallmouth bass in a report released to the public that same day by activist and outdoor groups. The lower figure was included in a report compiled by Gentner Consulting Group of Silver Spring, Md., and issued by the Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association, the Sierra Club, the Ohio Environmental Council, the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, the Izaak Walton League of America, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Ohio Citizen Action.”

— Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

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Costly fish kill, editorial, Toledo Blade