Apparent fish kill being investigated in Lancaster County

Written by Rachel McDevitt, All Things Considered Host | Apr 29, 2019 1:17 PM

A dead trout can be seen on the bottom of Donegal Creek in Lancaster County. (Photo: Derek Eberly)

This story has been updated.

(Harrisburg) -- State environmental regulators are looking into a fish kill in the midstate. 

State Fish and Boat Commission spokesman Mike Parker said the incident was reported Sunday along a section of Donegal Creek in Lancaster County.

"Among those that perished were apparently 30 stocked rainbow trout, which had been placed into the creek by the Fish and Boat Commission in recent weeks," Parker said.

Possible causes range from pollution events and agricultural run-off to a viral infection in the fish population.

"Oftentimes, if there is a pollution event and a chemical has entered a waterway, especially a flowing waterway like the Donegal Creek, it sort of comes in, takes its toll, and then...the chemical will sort of be flushed out," Parker said. 

Both the commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection are investigating.

They plan to monitor the waterway for any signs of further impact.

Derek Eberly, a local fly-fishing guide who works with area sportsmen and conservation groups, said he walked along Donegal Creek Monday morning and found many more fish dead, in species and number. Though he spotted some survivors, he suspects hundreds of fish may have been killed in the incident. 

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