Hundreds of fish found dead in Savannah River

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, July 27, 2013

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW) -- There's something fishy in the water here at Betty's Branch.

"We noticed the smell first," says Stacy Fowers, who was out kayaking today on the river. "Right up here, we could see it, we saw dead fish."

She then noticed more signs of something that just wasn't right while she and her husband were on the water.

"We got in the water and we just noticed the silvery film, oily kind of thing on top of the water all the way out," Fowers said.

She and her husband kayaked on these waters just weeks ago in the midst of major flooding on the Savannah.

"There's something going on, because the last time we came here, it was really clear, the smell wasn't this strong," she said.

Jay Jacobs with the Savannah Riverkeeper doesn't have answers as to why.

"We just want to make sure no one eats the fish," he said.

But his samples of dead fish, water and sediments from the river could give him some kind of explanation.

"The fish that we pulled out, after looking at them, their death was due to deoxygenated water. It just means low oxygen in the water," Jacobs said.

The last major fish kill happened in 2011 further downstream near Savannah. It killed 38,000 fish when chemicals spilled into the river.

"If there's fish dying, it's probably a good reason to stay out of the water," Jacobs explained.

A thought that could soon go away for Fowers once she gets some answers from guys like Jacobs.

"Just be careful out there until we know what's going on," Jacobs said.

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