Thousands Of Fish Dead In Lake Palestine - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/31/05-Henderson County

Thousands Of Fish Dead In Lake Palestine

It's a stinky situation.

Thousands of dead catfish are floating on Lake Palestine. It's not exactly your idea of a nice afternoon at the lake.

"The catfish is your good-eating fish," Allie McCain, a nearby resident, said.

Not anymore. At least not the dead ones.

"Y'all put some in the trash can?" McCain asked another lake visitor. "Were you out here yesterday? Tell them how bad, they were just floating everywhere."

"We were trying to swim, and they were getting all on us," one girl said. "My brother would pick some up, and their guts would fall out."

The shoreline looks much better already. This weekend, some lake-goers have been throwing away the dead fish. Still, some are seen floating in the water, their carcasses washed up onto land.

"I've been on this lake for nearly 27 years," McCain said. "I've never seen this."

"I've never seen them before," another lake visitor, Al Johnson, said. "And we've been coming to the lake for about 20 years."

"Forty-one, forty-two..." Al's daughter, April, counted.

At the lake, you can smell the stench of nearly 3,000 dead catfish.

Biologists from Texas Parks & Wildlife say bacteria is what's killing them.

"I wouldn't swim in the lake at this point," Karen Gray, a game warden, said.

Game wardens and biologists say, as far as they can tell, the bacteria is killing only catfish, but it could make you sick.

"I went tubing earlier," April said. "And my tube must have gone over like five of them. I kicked one of them. It was not that pleasant."

"I'd just continue fishing as usual," Gray said.

"I'd rather not catch catfish anymore," April said. "I'm going to move to bass fishing with my dad."

Biologists say the bacteria should wash over in the next few days.

Lake biologists say they have not been able to pinpoint the specific bacteria killing the catfish.

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv.com

 

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