Update: Massive fish kill found on Pearl River

Photo provided by WDSU - NBC New Orleans

POSTED: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 4:58pm

UPDATE -  There are also reports of dead animals as far as 60 miles south of a papermill in Bogalusa.

The Louisiana DEQ says a Temple-Inland Incorpated paper plant had a problem last week with its waste water plant.

In a statement, the company said it is working with regulatory agencies looking into potential causes.

THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE: Authorities are continuing to conduct tests to determine what triggered a fish kill on the Pearl River in and around Washington parish.

Thousands of dead fish floated to the surface of the river in Louisiana and Mississippi. Some area residents are reporting an unusual substance on the water, which they believe may be related to the fish kill.

Officials in both states are still conducting tests to determine if there is a connection.

State officials say a lower amount of oxygen in the water may be to blame.

ORIGINAL STORY: A large fish kill was discovered this weekend in the Pearl River near Bogalusa. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are investigating to determine the cause.

The fish kill was reported on Saturday, Aug. 13 in the afternoon. The Department of Environmental Quality immediately ordered surveys and tests of the water conditions in the affected areas.

Reports say that several thousand aquatic species were found dead or dying along the river. Of the fish species were Paddlefish, American eels, catfish, bass, bluegill and shad.

The samples taken are in the process of being evaluated and should be back within a few days. However, until the results are returned DEQ and LDWF are asking the public to be aware and avoid that area of the waterway. According to DHH, there is no impact on drinking water from community water systems.

To learn more about this story and see a photo gallery of images, click here.

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