Nets containing an estimated 305,000 fish were damaged at a fish farm belonging to Cooke Aquaculture in the San Juan Islands on Saturday.
According to CBC News, the company blames ‘exceptionally high tides’ coinciding with the solar eclipse for net pen failure near Cypress Island.
“A lot of fish, a lot of weight … certainly could have aided in the compromise of the structure itself,” said Ron Warren, assistant director of the fish program for the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Tuesday the company has still not been able to anchor the net pens due to strong tidal currents.
The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is encouraging recreational and commercial fishers to catch Atlantic salmon if they find them, and has even changed the rules to allow commercial fishers to sell the fish legally, due to the scale of the escape.
Cooke Aquaculture has released a statement saying they do not know how many fish escaped after the incident.