Hundreds of Dead Fish Found Floating in Lake Hartwell Concerns F -

Hundreds of Dead Fish Found Floating in Lake Hartwell Concerns Fisherman, Boaters

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dead fish in Lake Hartwell dead fish in Lake Hartwell

The Army Corps of Engineers tells 7 On Your Side they’ve been getting reports about dead fish in Lake Hartwell.

7 On Your Side took your calls this weekend about hundreds of dead fish showing up during a fishing tournament Saturday. We found answers for you from the Army Corps of Engineers, who said they’ve been hearing reports for a few days.

Officials said because of all the recent rain, some water needed to be released by the dam. Much of the water was cooler in temperature and from the bottom of the lake.

Striped Bass like cooler water and live 50-80 feet down, so when water was released, the warmer water took its place. The fish cannot survive in the warmer water and have been dying by the hundreds for the past few days."

"We saw a few fish early in the morning and as the day went on we saw more and more dead fish floating up," said Michael Griswold a local fisherman.

Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Billy Birdwell said the fish are so sensitive that even if the water changed just a few degrees, they cannot survive.

Engineers said this is the first time that it has happened at Hartwell. Fish kills are more common in Lake Murray in Columbia fisherman said Sunday.

The Corps of Engineers said the water is safe for humans and fishermen are more than welcome to take the live striped bass they can catch. Officials told 7 On Your Side you need to leave the dead fish alone.

To determine how many you can catch you need to follow fishing laws that can change by state and be specific to the lake you’re fishing in.

In Lake Hartwell, fishermen are allowed to catch 10 fish per person and no more than 3 over 26 inches long.

Engineers said you may find dead fish in the lake for the next few days but it should stop soon. Fishermen have also reported finding large dead fish that may have come from the bottom of the lake, in other lakes that the water drains into.

7 On Your Side spoke with Warren Turner who is the president of the Striper Kings, a fishing team out of Greenville. He said he measured the temperature near 60 feet below the surface to be 80 degrees.

The Army Corps of Engineers tell 7 On Your Side the same temperature was found at 100 feet.

Turner said he would like to see the striped bass fish put back into the lake at the numbers they were before the fish kill. He said he would have liked it if the Corps let the water run over the dam instead of opening it up. 

To visit the Army Corps of Engineers website click here

To view the striper discussion board to see what fisherman are talking about and seeing click here.

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