Huge fish kill discovered on High Rock Lake
Dead fish littered the shores of a cove off High Rock Lake today, and the man charged with protecting the Yadkin River says the likely cause is a 15.9 million gallon sewage spill that occurred upstream in Thomasville.
Residents discovered the fish kill next to the Fisherman’s Cove community off St. Matthews Church Road. David Lineberry, who lives in the area, had heard Sunday there were dead fish there but didn’t realize the magnitude of the kill until he went to the cove Monday morning to catch bait for fishing.
“Wasn’t no use throwing a net in there to try to catch no bait, because it wasn’t there,” Lineberry said.
Fish small and large lay dead along the shores. Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks estimated the number could be hundreds of thousands.
Naujoks said he believes the sewage spill, which Thomasville reported in early August and had been going on for several weeks, made its way downstream and settled into the sediment near the High Rock dam. Then something ó it could have been rain and wind, he said ó disturbed the water and churned up the sewage, which formed algae that robbed the water of oxygen and killed the fish, he said.
Naujoks contacted the state Division of Water Quality but said his theory may be hard to prove, especially as time passes and oxygen levels return to normal.
See Wednesday’s Salisbury Post and www.salisburypost.com for more information.