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