LYMAN, S.C. (WSPA) – At first glance, the area behind the Middle Tyger Library appears calm and full of wildlife. However, over the weekend, local residents discovered something alarming along the edge of the water.
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, a concerned citizen reached out to their agency on Saturday after they found dozens of dead fish along the Middle Tyger River.
“We sent a couple of freshwater fisheries’ section staff out there to take a look to see if there really was a kill, and sure enough there was,” said Greg Lucas, SCDNR.
DNR confirmed with 7NEWS that it is investigating a fish kill in the area.
“They are not unusual during summertime. To have a fish kill like this happen on a stream like the Middle Tyger is a little more unusual,” said Lucas.
Meanwhile, Spartanburg County resident Charles Crooks and his 4-year-old Labrador Retriever Dixie, were greeted with a surprise Wednesday when they arrived for their usual walk. There were dead fish and a residue covering the water.
“I come out here a couple times a month. Sometimes more than that,” said Crooks. “That’s not normal for the area. That’s concerning. You know, it makes you kind of wonder where it’s all coming from. Something is disturbing their habitat, so yeah that bothers me.”
According to DNR, multiple species of fish are being affected.
“Among the species that our biologists saw, there were crappie, and there were some large mouth bass. I’m sure there were some other small species, ones we like to call prey fish, like those in the minnow families as well,” said Lucas.
The fish kill forced resident Charles Crooks to rethink where he lets Dixie roam.
“I really don’t want her in but she’s a yellow lab, you can’t keep her out. I am going to let her out and run but her access to the water is definitely going to be restricted as best I can.” Crooks said. “I hope they get this resolved. I would like to come back here and enjoy this peaceful setting without worrying about whatever is going on up there.”
The cause of the fish kill is still under investigation by DNR.
Once DNR staff are finished collecting the fish and estimating the damage, DNR said the investigation will be turned over to the DHEC. DHEC will determine the official cause.
Lucas could not confirm if foul play was involved or if it was caused by people.