Pearl River fish kill under investigation

Bass, catfish, bream and paddlefish could have been killed by untreated wastewater, agencies say.

A large Pearl River fish kill reported Saturday (Aug. 13) could have been caused by an influx of partially treated and untreated wastewater, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported today (Aug. 15).

LDWF biologists were working with several other agencies to determine the cause of the kill, which included bass, catfish, bluegill, shad, paddlefish and eels. Several thousand fish were seen dead or dying along the river, the agency reported.

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Biologists surveyed 45 miles of the river from Richardson Landing to the entrance of the West Pearl River Navigation Canal, the LDWF said.

The Department of Environmental Quality has taken samples of the river water and sent them to a lab for analysis, which should be complete3d within four to five days.

The agencies involved advise the public to be aware of and avoid foam on the river or any water that is discolored.  DEQ continues to investigate the cause of the fish kill.

According to DHH, there is no impact on drinking water from community water systems, none of which draw water from the river. DHH advises that people should not come in contact with discolored water in the Pearl River and should never collect dead or floating fish to eat.

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