Temple-Inland to pay more than $760,000 for Pearl River fish kill

LDWF to implement three-year recovery and monitoring plan.

Temple-Inland agreed to pay more than $760,000 to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for work to restore fisheries in the Pearl River after the company’s plant in Bogalusa spilled so-called “black liquor” into the river and caused a massive fish kill in August, the LDWF said.

An estimated 590,000 fish and freshwater mussels died, the LDWF said.

The agreement was reached Monday (Nov. 7), and will cost Temple-Inland $760,245.86, the agency said. The total value of the estimated 160,000 fish killed in the incident was $816,022.40, LDWF said.

Mississippi officials could seek restitution from Temple-Inland, as well.

The LDWF restoration effort includes a three-year recovery and monitoring plan, and restocking of the river with largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish, the agency said.

“Today’s settlement allows us to put to rest the civil restitution for fish and mussels so that we may focus on the truly important part of our work – restocking, restoring and improving access for recreational fishing in the Pearl River,” LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said.

Earlier this month, LDWF fisheries biologists stocked 27,000 catfish and 24,000 bluegill at various points along the Pearl River.

“We are ready to continue stocking, habitat restoration and access projects throughout the Pearl River,” LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina said. “We know that with dedication and commitment to restoration projects in the Pearl River it may be an even more exciting place for anglers from all over the southeast to fish for years to come.”