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Large Fish Kill Reported In Tidal Potomac


7:42 p.m. EDT June 7, 2006
COLONIAL BEACH, Va. - Virginia and Maryland environmental agencies are investigating a large fish kill in the Potomac River, where unusually high concentrations of a possibly toxic organism turned up. Bill Hayden, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, said that 7,000 to 8,000 fish were found washed ashore Sunday along several miles of the Northern Neck around Colonial Beach, Va.

Slideshow: Dead Fish Images
Hayden said DEQ and Maryland's Department of Natural Resources have been collecting water samples, and university laboratories are examining them. Maryland officials said their samples showed dense concentrations of an organism that is capable of producing toxins that are deadly to fish, but they also said more testing needs to be done.

The organism is usually blamed on pollution, they said. Scientist said it is the biggest fish kill they have seen in at least three years.

Kirby Carpenter with the Potomac River Fisheries Commission said the dead fish included white perch, striped bass, croaker and cow-nosed rays.

Tu Parker, who lives in Strafford Harbor, Va., which is just south of Colonial Beach, e-mailed pictures of dead fish found along the Potomac to News4.

?I used to work on the water commercially, and I?ve been around the water all my life. I?ve never seen anything like that,? said Parker.
 

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Wow...that sucks! My parents live just south on the bay from Colonial Beach (around Smith Point). I always look forward to great fishing while I'm down there!!! I hope they have it cleared up before the spanish get there!!! Get'em Wet! Pig
 

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they said the worst in the last three years, was there a bigger kill longer ago than that?
 

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I did some fossil hunting on the Potomac last year and my brother threw his sifter in the water next to me and splashed a bunch of the water in mouth. The water down there is nasty. It smelled like rotten mustard. Needless to say I was sick for 3 weeks and had to go to the doctor for fear of my insides coming out. I feel bad for the fish that just so happen to live in that crap.

John
 

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After keeping my boat in the Middle River, north of the Patapsco, for 8 years I had enough of that polluted water. There were times I would take my kids tubing and they would remark that their skin feels like it was burning.

The majority of stripers that were caught had lesions on them and were always leary of eating crabs and fish from that area.

The Chesapeake Bay is mostly dead in the summer months due to low oxygen levels. Seeing a "jubilee" is truly sad.

This is my first season at Cape May and although the trip takes me 3 hours from Hershey, Pa. It is worth the trip. Just need to locate some hot spots around the area.
 
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