Fish die-offs in Maryland – 04/11/2005

  • October 22, 2013 at 12:09 am #667

    The Associated Press Apr 1, 2005

    A state task force is investigating the deaths of hundreds of fish in
    Peninsula waters last week and this week.

    An algal bloom that is harmful to humans and animals was found in one
    creek where dead fish were found, and Department of Environmental
    Quality spokesman Bill Hayden said yesterday that officials are
    trying to determine whether it was connected to kills in nearby

    A state health-department spokesman that fish were found dead in the
    Poquoson River, the southwest branch of Back River, the East River,
    and in the Queens Creek and Taskinas Creek areas off the York River.

    Reddish water — an indication of algal-bloom activity — was noted
    in the Taskinas Creek area March 25, a health-department statement
    said. Test results from the James City County creek showed a high
    concentration of a type of pfiesteria, an algal bloom that is harmful
    to humans and animals.

    “What’s unusual is the time of year it’s doing it,” health-department
    spokesman Larry Hill said. Algal blooms usually occur in warmer
    water, he said.

    Some scientists believe that pfiesteria killed fish and sickened
    humans exposed to the waters of the Pocomoke River in Maryland in

    The state task force looking into the cause of the fish kills
    includes members from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the
    Department of Environmental Quality and Old Dominion University, as
    well as the health department.

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