Local News

Swimmers Told to Stay Away from Part of Pamlico River

Posted July 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— There's been another major fish kill in a North Carolina River and that's raised some old concerns.

Monday afternoon State health officials asked swimmers to stay out of one section of the Pamlico River just southeast of the Washington area. The restricted area is mainly in Beaufort County near the Hickory Point and Goose Creek area.

Environmental officials detected pfiesteria there a two weeks ago and they think it may have killed hundreds of fish. As a precaution, people are being warned against going into the water.

Park Superintendent Scott Kershner says the beach will be closed until more date can be gathered.

The affected fish are mostly menhaden which have been found floating all along the 15 mile stretch of beach. While many say the signs of pfiesteria are obvious, state officials are not blaming the organism yet.

Don Reuter of North Carolina Environmental Health says inspectors went out Tuesday afternoon to study the waters.

Pfiesteria has not been proven to be harmful to humans. That's apparently why some swimmers ignored warnings to stay out of the river.

Reporter/Photographer:Brian Bowman