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Fishers, Salmon Succumbing to Rat Poison Used by Pot Growers


Rat poison used in marijuana growing operations may force California to initiate the Endangered Species Act.

According to, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has petitioned to have the fisher listed as threatened in Oregon, California and Washington. A vast amount of fishers have been found dead in the northwestern mountains of California and the southern Sierra Nevada. As many as 84 percent of the fishers tested positive for rat poison, presumably used by marijuana growers.

Biologists believe it’s most likely a combination of the fishers directly eating the poison and eating animals that have already been poisoned. The rat poison is not only found on active marijuana farms, but is often left behind when growers move on, increasing the risk it presents to wildlife and their habitat.

Although the chemicals are regulated, many of these marijuana farms are illegal and refuse to follow the legislation.

Fishers aren’t the only animal impacted. The coho salmon population has dropped due to fertilizers and pesticides used on these same farms. The salmon was the first animal research biologists sought protection for due to marijuana farmers. They, too, have been classified as protected under the Endangered Species Act. The northern spotted owl is being studied and may be added next.

Check out these related articles:

The environmental impact of marijuana cultivation on public lands

Mexican drug smugglers caught hauling marijuana in fake fish and wildlife truck

Hunter discovers thousands of pot plants on his lease near Houston

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Fishers, Salmon Succumbing to Rat Poison Used by Pot Growers