Nearly 1,500 fish dead in Bayou Plaquemine fish kill

IBERVILLE PARISH — A fish kill in Bayou Plaquemine in Iberville Parish resulted in nearly 1,500 dead fish, according to the Wildlife & Fisheries Dept.

WLF agents went to Bayou Plaquemine on Wednesday to inspect and investigate what happened.

The fish were killed when tugs churned up the bottom silt of Bayou Plaquemine during low water conditions, causing oxygen levels to be depleted.

“The warmer the water is, the less oxygen it can hold, so the fish were already struggling for oxygen,” said Brian Heimann, biologist manager for Inland Fisheries Group with WLF. “The water temperature we took yesterday was 90 degrees, and that’s very hot for a natural body of water. Normally, Bayou Plaquemine around this time of the year would be low to mid-80s.”

Heimann said compared to the fish kill they have responded to over the years, this specific fish kill was relatively minor. Brim, large-mouth bass, freshwater bass, buffalo, silver carp, and some catfish were killed.

“The tugboat operators said it’s their last offload and should be gone in another day or two,” Heimann said. “I don’t imagine any more fish kills will happen in that location from this incident. It appears the fish kill happened as soon as the tugboats came in because the fish had significant decay. What we see now is just the remnants of this.”

“I don’t see any more fish dying,” he added. “I think the damage has reached its maximum. In this heat, decomposition happens very quickly.”

If you do see anymore fish kill, you’re asked to call Wildlife & Fisheries at 225-765-2337 and report it.

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