Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has released its report to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division on the Reedy Creek and Brier Creek fish kills.
The investigation centered around dead fish found in Reedy Creek (Matthews, Ga.) and Brier Creek (Keysville, Ga.).
According to the report, the first contact was made to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency on Oct. 15. The report was of a fish kill in Brier Creek.
Several investigators were sent to the area to determine the extent and cause of the fish kill. Their investigation, while not complete, has determined several factors.
First, they say the fish kill in Reedy and Brier Creeks is related to a decrease in pH. If the pH is 5.0 or less, it is a stressor to fish. This can cause them to die, depending on the extent and duration of the condition. They also said naturally occurring aluminum is more soluble when the pH is lower, making it toxic to fish. This area has some mines which use aluminum sulfate in their process, making the aluminum concentrations higher.
The exact cause of the low pH and fish kill is still under investigation by the Environmental Protection Division.
The estimated number and value of fish killed is 12,522 fish valued at $17,419.12.