Over 54,000 fish dead in NC creek

The fish kill rate in 2008 was an all time high
June 11, 2009 1:06:52 PM PDT
The North Carolina Division of Water Quality says more than 54,000 fish were found dead in the upper part of Blounts Creek. The Beaufort County creek feeds into the Pamlico River.
View Larger Google Map of Blounts Creek location in North Carolina

Susan Massengale, a spokeswoman from the Division of Water Quality, says the dead fish included menhaden, spot, sunfish, bream, gizzard and shad.

Massengale says low dissolved oxygen levels were measured at the surface and three feet below the surface throughout the area where the dead fish were found.

She says officials are trying to determine what caused the oxygen levels to drop.

Water samples have been sent to a lab in Raleigh for analysis.

Other fish kill events and background data on the N.C. Department of Water Quality

In 1996 the DWQ Environmental Sciences Section (ESS), in consultation with Regional Office staff, Wildlife Resources biologists, and Division of Marine Fisheries personnel instituted a new fish kill investigation procedure to be used by the DWQ Regional Offices and other agencies to collect and track information on fish kills throughout the state. Fish kill and fish health data are recorded on a standardized form and sent to the Division's ESS where the data are reviewed.

Fish kill events happen on an annual basis and are tracked by the N.C. Division of Water Quality. A current account of fish kill events and historic data can be found below.

(PDF)The 2008 fish mortality totaled over 7.5 million individuals; the highest total since reporting began in 1996 and represents a sharp increase from mortality figures reported during the previous four years.

Click here to view other historic accounts of fish kill events going back to 1996.


Load Comments