Post Register: Two-Headed Fish Linked to Simplot Mine

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A bizarre image that you might sport in Ripley's Believe It Or Not appeared this week in the Idaho Falls Post Register.

A young, deformed Yellowstone cutthroat trout is seen in this photograph taken from a draft of the J.R. Simplot Co.s report on the effects of selenium on fish near the companys Smoky Canyon mine.
  • Courtesy Idaho Falls Post Register
  • A young, deformed Yellowstone cutthroat trout is seen in this photograph taken from a draft of the J.R. Simplot Co.'s report on the effects of selenium on fish near the company's Smoky Canyon mine.

A picture of a two-headed trout accompanied a story that said a wide range of deformities could be linked to contamination in Eastern Idaho's Smoky Canyon mine. The Post Register reported that studies commissioned by the J.R. Simplot Co. confirmed selenium contamination coming from the company's phosphate mine, east of Soda Springs, was linked to snout, crania and fin deformities of fish in the watershed.

In two studies, carried out by Simplot-hired consulting firms, eggs from adult Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout and Brown Trout that been exposed to selenium were hatched in laboratories. The deformed fish came from the eggs.

The Department of Environmental Quality received the 1,200-page Simplot report on Monday.

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