Joe P. Asher
The appearance of dozens of dead fish in the Catrons Creek branch of the Cumberland River over the weekend has some residents worried.
According to Elcomb resident James Lively, the dead fish appeared in the water beneath the bridge on KY 72 at Elcomb.
“I saw them there under the bridge laying in the water dead,” said Lively.
Lively said he observed an official from the Department of Fish and Wildlife investigating the situation on Sunday.
Lively pointed out the first time he saw dead fish in the water was approximately two weeks ago.
“This is just the second time I’ve seen this, and I’ve been living here for 25 years,” said Lively.
Lively said he saw the dead fish float down the river, but he doesn’t know where the problem originated.
“They don’t die here, they come from somewhere up the river,” said Lively.
According to Lively, he saw about 40 dead fish, all carp, floating down the river on Saturday.
“Some of them were probably 18 inches. They were pretty good sized fish,” said Lively.
Linda Potter, public information officer for the Department of Natural Resources, said an investigation had been done.
According to Potter, the Department of Natural Resources regional supervisor in Middlesboro learned the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources were investigating the incident and sent their own inspectors to the scene.
“They checked it out and they didn’t find anything. It was running clear when they got there,” said Potter.
Potter said inspectors found no evidence of any mining operations having done anything that could have caused the fish kill.
“We did go up there,” said Potter. “The inspectors went up there and did the normal inspection that they do when there’s been a complaint about a fish kill or a black water incident or any kind of discharge. We didn’t see anything.”
Potter said the incident does not appear to be mine related in any way.
Steve Combs, with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the situation is being looked into.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, firstname.lastname@example.org