Fish Kill in Arkansas River – 01/03/2011

  • December 31, 2013 at 6:47 pm #1920

    Fish Kill in Arkansas River
    Up to 100,000 fish found dead along Arkansas River
    Officials suspect disease, not pollutants, as cause of death

    Next story in Environment No poison found in birds that fell on town
    o related

    Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
    Dead fish are seen along the Arkansas River. staff and news service reports
    updated 1/3/2011 2:50:48 PM ET

    State officials on Monday were investigating why 80,000 to 100,000 fish washed up dead on the shores of the Arkansas River last week.

    “The fish deaths will take about a month” to determine a cause, Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, told

    Stephens also provided the estimate of 80,000 to 100,000 dead fish.
    The fish were found Thursday by a tugboat operator along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near the city of Ozark.

    The mass kill occurred just one day before thousands of blackbirds dropped dead from the sky in Beebe, Ark., which is 125 miles away.

    Officials said 95 percent of the fish that died were drum fish — indicating that the likely cause of death was disease as only one species was affected. [Or a specific frequency from HAARP, since each species lives on a specific frequency – MC]

    “If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish,” Stephens added.

    Drum fish, which are bottom feeders, are not sought by fishermen, he added, and fishing was not banned as a precaution. “Right now it’s fine to fish,” KTHV quoted Stephens as saying. “If you go out there you can still fish for bass and crappie, catfish, it will be fine. Obviously don’t eat the dead fish.”

    Fish were still floating on the same stretch of river as of Monday morning.
    Stephens said that nature will be doing the cleanup. “We’ll have raccoon and birds and things like that will take care of it so there is really no cleanup, it’s really too big. It’s contained along the river channel.”

    David Lyons, the head of a local chapter of the Sierra Club, told that he was “waiting for the results of the pathology and toxicology tests before I make any judgments about the bird and fish kills.

    “So far, the evidence does not suggest that pollution contributed to either the bird or fish kill,” he added. “If the test results indicate that contaminants were responsible, then local environmental groups will likely have several questions and concerns about the two events.”


    Massive fish kill blankets Arkansas River
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    January 3, 2011 7:00 a.m. EST

    Why are fish, birds dying in Arkansas?
    • An estimated 100,000 drum fish have died, officials say
    • The fish kill is not believed to be related to bird deaths in another town
    • Official says size of fish kill points to possible disease outbreak

    (CNN) — Arkansas officials are investigating the death of an estimated 100,000 fish in the state’s northwest, but suspect disease was to blame, a state spokesman said Sunday.

    Dead drum fish floated in the water and lined the banks of a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near Ozark, about 125 miles northwest of Little Rock, said Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. A tugboat operator discovered the fish kill Thursday night, and fisheries officials collected some of the dying animals to conduct tests.

    Stephens said fish kills occur every year, but the size of the latest one is unusual, and suggested some sort of disease was to blame.

    “The fish kill only affected one species of fish,” he said. “If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish.”

    Ozark is about 125 miles west of the town of Beebe, where game wardens are trying to find out why up to 5,000 blackbirds fell from the sky just before midnight New Year’s Eve.

    Dead birds a mystery in Arkansas

    Biologists believe the bird deaths were stress-related from either fireworks or weather and are unrelated to the fish kill near Ozark, Stephens said.
    CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.


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