Mysterious Dead Fish In Sabine River - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/17/03 - Harrison County

Mysterious Dead Fish In Sabine River

  The mysterious deaths of at least one thousand fish in East Texas could remain a mystery.

  The Texas Parks and Wildlife department is investigating. The fish were found floating downstream near the Texas 149 bridge south of Longview. Game wardens now wonder if they'll ever really know how it happened.

  On Saturday, Jon McClendon and his girlfriend went site seeing down the Sabine River. Just downstream from what's known as the Buckhorn Creek, where run off from Eastman Chemical, and the National Truck Stop comes in, Jon and his girlfriend began seeing dead fish.

 "We went four or five miles down, and dead fish [were] all the way down,," says Jon.

  Along the river Tuesday we didn't think we'd see much of the fish kill, figuring the rains had probably washed them all away. First we came upon one fish. Then we saw dozens of others caught up in a pile of debris.

  The Texas Parks and Wildlife is investigating. They're testing the fish and the water, but so far they have found no apparent problems. Authorities have their theories but say it's possible they'll never know because the fish have been dead for several days.

"We've had a lot of rain that could have pushed nutrients into the water causing oxygen problems," says Greg Connally with Texas Parks and Wildlife. That's an explanation that Jon just can't accept. "I've heard that they'll blame it on mother nature from all the rain flooding, that's not good enough for me," says Jon.

While the Texas Parks and Wildlife continue to look for answers they do know that at least a thousand fish have been killed here. According to both Eastman Chemical and the Texas Parks and Wildlife services PH levels and dissolved oxygen samples have been taken from the river. Those samples showed nothing out of the ordinary.

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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