Dead fish in Maryland – 10/01/2005

  • November 22, 2013 at 2:50 am #1045

    Some 30,000 Fish Floating Dead In River
    State Blames Natural Algae; Locals Question Other Possibilities

    POSTED: 6:11 pm EDT September 29, 2005

    CENTREVILLE, Md. — Some 30,000 fish floated belly-up on the Corsica
    River this week.

    Just two days ago, Gov. Bob Ehrlich announced plans — along the same
    river — to clean the state’s waterways.

    “The Corsica must improve,” Ehrlich said. “Our goal is to remove the
    Corsica from the (federal) list of impaired waters.”

    The governor’s plans involve raising millions of dollars to clean the
    river and the bay (Full Story).

    But in the same week, tens of thousands of fish turned up dead along
    the same river. WBAL-TV 11 News reporter John Sherman reported that
    the Maryland Department of the Environment blames the unprecedented
    fish kill on naturally-occurring algae blooms.

    Local watermen, however, question how natural the fish kill really is.

    Joe Edwards, a waterman who has been crabbing for 20 years, said he
    has seen fish kills before, but never anything like this.

    “Fish were dead all of a sudden one day,” he said. “Fish scattered
    everywhere, almost like raindrops. I mean, just great long rafts of

    Sherman reported the dead fish were tightly concentrated near the
    Centreville Wharf. The view from SkyTeam 11 showed huge bands of dead
    fish, spanning miles of the river.

    So, with locals saying one thing and the state claiming another, 11
    News asked Brent Walls, an environmental scientist, to test the water.

    “It’s choking the oxygen out of the water, so therefore, the fish
    can’t breathe,” Walls said.

    Walls, who works for the Chester River Association, agrees with the
    state that a natural algae bloom contributed to the fish kill.
    However, he argued that that’s not all.

    “It’s much more than some natural occurrence. There has to been
    something that was either put in the water by mistake, or some kind
    of occurrence, timing of events that happened to where you get this
    type of result,” he said.

    The fish may remain in the water until birds and the current wipe
    them away.

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