Fish Kill Task Force

By: Mike Mueller
By: Mike Mueller

Lesions have been killing off a majority of the adult small-mouth bass throughout the Shenandoah River. Now, the DEQ and Game and Inland Fisheries are teaming up so the fish don't go belly-up.

"We've identified all the different things that could be contributing to the fish kill and left the doors open for other that may come up later," says DEQ's Don Kain.

Those potential factors are fish disease, discharges into the river and natural factors. These are just some the issue, the Shenandoah River Fish Kill Task Force will tackle.

"What we're trying to do is look back and recreate the crime scene and then try and develop a system," says Kain. "We want a comprehensive monitoring program that will allow us to have that in place."

Which is vital not just for the fish but for the local economy as well.

"These people are spending money on local accommodations," says Game and Inland Fisheries Steve Reeser. "They may be hiring a local fishing guide, or renting a canoe from a local outfitter, so there is definitely a trickle down effect."

The new task force will meet one month from now to discuss further strategies for this problem.

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