Georgia Environmental Protection Division officials still say the cause of a recent fish kill in the Ogeechee River likely is drought conditions, but they have not clarified the difference between conditions upriver and downriver from a textiles plant suspected by some to have been a contributing factor.
In a related development, the advisories against swimming and fishing in the river were lifted Wednesday, Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn said.
In a statement released Wednesday, EPD spokesman Kevin Chambers said, “The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has concluded that drought-related conditions are the likely cause of a fish kill in east Georgia’s Ogeechee River, but an exact cause will never be known.”
Ogeechee Riverkeeper Dianna Wedincamp and Department of Natural Resources Regional Supervisor Tim Barrett both have said no dead fish were found north of the King America Finishing discharge pipe in Dover in May, when the discovery of dead fish was reported about a year after a massive fish kill in 2011.
Both Barrett and Wedincamp also said river conditions upstream and downstream from the plant are the same, and that there must be another factor in the recent fish deaths.
“We are not aware of any dead fish above King America, but I can’t say there aren’t any in that section of the river,” Chambers said Wednesday. “Downstream, the first dead fish we found were three miles below King Finishing.”
Read more in the June 9 edition of the News.