(Local THV) Arkansas Game & Fish is trying to figure out why 100,000 fish in Northwest Arkansas turned up dead. They were found along a 20-mile stretch between the Ozark Dam and Highway 109 Bridge in Franklin County
The 20-mile stretch along the Arkansas River where an estimated 100,000 drum fish were found washed ashore and floating looks much different now.
Investigators from local and state agencies took samples from the affected area. Stephens says fish kills occur every year, but the magnitude of this one is unusual, and disease could be the cause.
A pollutant would have affected cross species. Stephens says, “Ninety-nine percent of them were Drum, which is a bottom feeder. It’s not a game fish in Arkansas.”
The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission is also investigating thousands of dead birds in Beebe, Ar. about 100 miles down-river from Ozark.
About 2,000 black birds fell from the sky off Windwood Drive just before New Years.
Stephen Bryant recalls, “Millions, millions fly over every night. You look up at the sky and it’s just black and then last night at about 10:30 I came out here and saw a bird drop.”
In a matter of hours on New Years Eve thousands of birds fell from the sky to their death.
He mystery is unraveling like scenes from a movie, dozens of U.S. Environmental Services crews spent the day picking up the birds, walking between homes and climbing on roofs with protective hazmat suits and breathing masks,.
Charles Boldrey stands outside watching the crews, “Nobody knows, I asked these guys who are out here picking them up and they don’t seem to know anything. Nobody seems to know anything. It just kind of freaked everybody out.”
There are a variety of dead black birds, mostly red winged and a duck was also found.
Katherina Yancy with Today’s THV found one bird still living. It was confused, injured, continuously walked in circles and didn’t make a sound or attempt to fly.
Bryant says, “Something out of a movie and Hazmat people are walking around not telling us anything.”
Rowe said that it didn’t appear as though the birds died of any poisoning or other event. “Since it only involved a flock of blackbirds and only involved them falling out of the sky it is unlikely they were poisoned, but a necropsy is the only way to determine if the birds died from trauma or toxin,” she said. Testing will begin on Monday.
“I’ve been to Iraq and back and not seen nothing like this,” Beebe resident Jeff Drennan told local Fox16 News on Sunday.
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