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Camp Seafarer Discovers Fish Kill

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NEW BERN — Campers at Camp Seafarer in Pamlico County discovered about 500 dead fish Tuesday morning.

The girls' camp, located along the Neuse River downstream from New Bern, closed its beaches Tuesday, but re-opened them Thursday.

Scientists believe the kill is not a threat to swimmers, and that the fish died somewhere else on the river before drifting to the camp.

The small kill is the largest of the summer for the Neuse. Tests Wednesday night showed normal bacteria levels and below-normal levels of pfiesteria.

"We took another cell this morning at 5:45," Camp Seafarer Director Chille Griffith said. "The cell count was zero, which means there is a healthy condition in the river for boating, surfing or any kind of activity."

Camp leaders will continue to check water readings on their own using an underwater sensor. If their readings show dangerous levels, the campers come out of the water.

"Should we have a problem any day, the camp is prepared to carry activities on land, and take advantage of what the land has to offer," Camp Seagull Director Lloyd Griffith said.

State scientists say they are not sure what caused the kill, but they believe the heat could be part of the reason. Even healthy fish suffer some physical stress when the water is warmer than normal.


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