Hundreds of dead fish left with floodwater’s debris

Published 11:44 am Friday, June 24, 2011

Fish floating in a pool of stagnant floodwater on Long Lake Road and Lake Shore Drive north of Vicksburg is one of two fish kills reported to state wildlife officials since most water receded from main roads, and more such sightings are expected, a fisheries expert said.

“It’s just the start,” said Rod Garavelli, director of fisheries programs for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. “We anticipate more as debris starts to dissipate.”

Hundreds of catfish and other species were washed up on the roadside by water slowly drawing back from the dusty backroad.

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Debris redistributed along the Mississippi River and its tributaries by the flood will decay in lakes and streams, a chief cause of fish kills, Garavelli said.

“When they break down, it can cause lack of oxygen,” he said.

Fish kills may be reported to any of three state agencies — MDWFP, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality or the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

A second kill was reported in a small lake in Bolivar County, Garavelli said. The kill seen on Long Lake was reported to MDWFP by Vicksburg Animal Control, said animal control employee Roderick Pilate.