September 30, 2013 at 11:22 pm #516MikeKeymaster
Preliminary DEQ reports show water is safe, official says
The Associated Press
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is trying to determine what killed
1,000 white crappie that washed up on the shore recently at Lake
Jack Huntley, operations manager at the lake, said samples of the
fish were sent to Mississippi State University to determine what
“We haven’t had anything like this to happen in about 20 years,”
Huntley said preliminary reports from the Department of Environmental
Quality in Jackson show the water in Lake Okatibbee is safe. He said
columnaris bacteria was discovered, but the bacteria is not uncommon.
“That bacteria is found in all water, but it will only have an effect
on fish when they are stressed,” Huntley said.
On Tuesday, only a few dead fish lined the shores of the lake.
Huntley said whatever caused the fish to die may have passed.
Gloria Tatum, chief of the DEQ’s Field Services Division, said
Tuesday a bacterial analysis performed on the fish showed an as-yet-
The fish who are not stressed will continue to be healthy, and the
fish with weak immune systems will die off and new fish from spawning
season will take their place, Tatum said.
“It’s just mother nature at work,” she said.
DEQ biologists believe the water is safe, Tatum said.
In the meantime, Huntley said sportsmen should disinfect live wells
in their boats if they are going to fish at Okatibbee and other area
lakes. He also said if fish look healthy and are cleaned properly,
they should be safe to consume.
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