A fish kill near a pump station on La. Highway 70 may be the result of Hurricane Isaac, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The storm came through Wednesday, bringing heavy rains and winds, which likely churned up the water.
Leaves and debris entering the water table likely depleted oxygen in the water as it began to decompose, department biologist Brac Salyers said.
Salt water intrusion as a result of the storm could also have played a role in the fish kill, he said.
“This is a situation where the storm came through, along with heavy storm surge, and also could have forced salt water into the marshes and waterways,” Salyers said. “This, along with sediment being stirred up from the bank and sides, likely resulted in the fish kill.”
This was the first report of a storm-related fish kill, he said, but water quality testing in the Atchafalaya Basin resulted in much better conditions.
On Friday, biologists tested water quality in several areas of the Atchafalaya and found the water quality to be quite good, with oxygen levels reaching 6 parts per 1,000, he said.
“Friday, we rode all over the basin and didn’t see any fish kills,” he said. “Actually, everything looked pretty good, so this is likely an isolated incident of a small fish kill.”
The pump coming on to keep Morgan City from flooding could also have resulted in the fish kill by stirring up waters near the station, Salyers said.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was planning to send out personnel to gather information on the location, size and cause of the kill, he said.