Local News

State Scientist Study Neuse Fish Kill

Posted July 27, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— State scientists are scanning the waters near New Bern Tuesday night, trying to figure out what is killing tens of thousands of small fish.

Over the last four days the Neuse River Rapid Response Team estimates nearly 190,000 fish have died between New Bern and Havelock.

Pfiesteria-like sores showed up on about 10 percent of the dead fish but the state health department has not closed any waters. Investigators say the fish should be avoided, but do not pose an immediate threat.

"Since it was an old kill, nothing actively was going on, and it was in a spread-out area," says Kathleen Buckheit, who is with the Department of Health and Human Services. "Right now there is not a reason to close any waters."

While the fish have signs of Pfiesteria, scientist will not know the cause of the kill for several days.