Fish Kill In Pearl River Not Toxic

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Day two and there's still a lot of work to do.

"We are putting a big dent in picking up the dead fish, but it's huge and there are hundreds of thousands of fish out there,"  Kevin Davis, St. Tammany's Parish President said.

There are about 120 boats and 220 workers who are still cleaning up the dead fish.  The fish were killed off by a chemical known as "black liquor", which sucked the oxygen out of the Pearl River in Slidell over the weekend.

"It's pretty sad to see all the dead fish.  This is our home, this is where we live," Davis said.

A Bogulsa paper mill, Temple-Inland apologized for accidentally releasing the "black liquor into the river.  Charges against the paper mill may be coming.  In the meantime, it's all about getting all of the dead fish out of the river.

"We're seeing vast improvements daily in the water systems,"  Jeff Dauzat said.

Jeff Dauzat is an environmental scientist who tested water samples for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.  He said sample testing now shows positive results.

"They indicate this was a biological concern and not a toxic concern, which is excellent news for the health of our system," he said.

With oxygen levels improving, that's not only good fnews for the DEQ, but area fisherman and hard working clean-up crews too.

Slidell Resident, Johnathan Jackson said, "The heat--wow, if you're not from Southeast Louisiana than I don't think you could do it." 

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