Pollution or Weather Blamed for Fish Kills

9 years 5 months 4 weeks ago March 28, 2007 Mar 28, 2007 Wednesday, March 28 2007 Wednesday, March 28, 2007 10:39:25 PM CDT in News

Bill Knowles loves to fish "quite a bit, as much as my wife will allow."

And he doesn't see a big problem with fish kills.

"There's been some dead fish that I've seen the past couple of weeks," Knowles admitted. "But, I don't really know that it's out of the ordinary or not."

That's because fish spawn in the spring, so they're already stressed.

"Occasionally, we do see a small number of fish kills," noted Leanna Zweig of the Department of Conservation. "This year, we've just seen a higher number than usual."

Zweig added, "Fish kills usually imply pollution and that's what people are concerned about, people making sure they're aware we don't have a pollution problem. We just have a natural weather condition."

But, some campers blamed people who dump raw sewage from their recreational vehicles into Thomas Hill Reservoir.

"I've been camping here for 15 years," said Harold Johnson. "I've seen people do it. I've asked them not to do it."

The department says it hasn't confirmed any fish kills caused by water pollution. But, for most anglers, the only fish they pay attention to are those at the end of their lines.

"I have good days and bad days fishing, you know," said Knowles, "but that's why we call it fishing."

If you know of any fish kills in Missouri, call the Department of Conservation at 882-9880.

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