SPARTANBURG CO., SC (WSPA) – Hundreds of dead and dying fish have been found along the Pacolet River in Spartanburg County, according to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
The fish are bullhead catfish and DNR says they believe the deaths are disease related. According to DNR, it is common to see this around this time of year as fish are spawning.
“This is around the spawning season so they get stressed anyway after that so it could be,” said Dan Rankin, SCDNR Fisheries Biologist. “In the summer time, it’s not uncommon to have sort of natural die offs of fish from large rivers or reservoirs.”
DNR will send samples to the Southeastern Cooperative Fish Disease Project at Auburn University for testing.
“Assuming our hunch is it’s probably disease related, if that’s the case there’s really not much to do,” said Rankin. “In most cases it’s kind of a self limiting problem. A certain number of fish would be impacted and may die but it’s usually not a number that would impact the population.”
DNR says the number of fish involved is not cause for major concern.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control says they are still investigating but say there doesn’t appear to be any concerns with swimming.
However, they say they won’t know for sure until their investigation is complete.