Home > Mass Animal Deaths > Georgia: Thousands of Fish Found Dead Along 9-Mile Stretch of Commissioner Creek Has Officials Asking Questions

Georgia: Thousands of Fish Found Dead Along 9-Mile Stretch of Commissioner Creek Has Officials Asking Questions


By S. HEATHER DUNCAN – “Georgia wildlife and environmental officials are trying to determine the cause of a fish kill in Commissioner Creek in Wilkinson County.

In all, 4,000 to 5,000 dead fish were found in about a nine-mile stretch of the creek and its tributary, Little Commissioner Creek, on Sept. 28 and 29, said Steve Schleiger, regional supervisor for the west central Georgia fisheries section of the state Wildlife Resources Division.

He estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the fish in the creek between McIntyre and the Toomsboro area died, and the surviving fish appeared disoriented and listless.

‘There’s no real smoking gun,’ Schleiger said. ‘The problem is the whole watershed is degraded. … I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to say definitively who caused it.’

Schleiger said the acidity of the stream was high, but that alone did not seem to have killed the fish. Aluminum in the water may have been high, which is toxic to fish when combined with high acidity.

Ben Emmanuel, the Oconee projects coordinator for the environmental advocacy group Altamaha Riverkeeper, said he spent Sept. 30 observing Commissioner Creek, which ‘had an unusual ultramarine color to it and was really uncommonly clear,’ he said.

‘The visuals were pretty striking,’ he said.” Read more.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths
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