Locals still concerned over dead fish in river

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Many people in the Tennessee Valley are still showing concerns about a recent increase in dead fish found in the river.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency received several calls regarding dead catfish on the Chickamauga Lake at the beginning of May. The agency said on May 5 that they searched 32 miles of shoreline and found roughly 300 dead fish.

These were channel catfish a little over one pound, and found mostly near the dam, the TWRA said.

“This sounds like a large number, but in the biological world, it isn’t. There are several clues that allow us to know this incident is not due to chemicals, bacteria, or a virus,” stated Bobby Brown, TWRA Aquatic Habitat Protection Biologist.

In a press release, the TWRA said this is because only one species is affected.

“All catfish died at the same time and the fish had good body composition, with no obvious signs of disease or trauma. Due to the stage of decomposition, samples could not be taken to determine the cause of death,” the agency continued.

The TWRA never stated the cause of these deaths, but they said they would continue to monitor the lake.

However, people are still reporting issues.

Many viewers have reached out to News 12 reporting more and more dead fish. Some are saying they have also found other fish species dead.

Some viewers say a white film is being found on live fish in the river as well.

We are working to find out more.

Categories: Chattanooga, Environment, Featured, Local News