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Full text of "Fish kills in coastal waters 1980-1989 / Jamison Anne Lowe ... [et al.]"

CI 5 5. 2-F Si /V 



Fish Kills in Coastal Waters 

1980-1989 



PENNSYLVANIA STATE 
UNIVERSITY 

DEC 3 1991 



DOCUMENTS COLLECTION 
U.S. Depository Copy 




U.S. Department of Commerce 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 



Cover Photo 
Oyster Creek, Texas Fish Kill 

by George Guillen 
Texas Water Commission 



Fish Kills in Coastal Waters 

1980-1989 



Jamison Anne Lowe, Daniel R.G. Farrow, Anthony S. Pait, 
Sheila J. Arenstam, and Eileen F. Lavan 



September 1991 



Strategic Environmental Assessments Division 

Office of Ocean Resources Conservation and Assessment 

National Ocean Service 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 




Acknowledgements 

This report is the result of the contri- 
butions of many individuals in 
NOAA's Strategic Environmental 
Assessments Division. Daniel J. 
Basta provided guidance on the 
content and design of the report, as 
well as the overall layout. Davida G. 
Remer provided editorial guidance 
for graphics and tables. Kim Keeter- 
Scott served as the editor, conducted 
quality-control reviews of all final 
data tables, and coordinated printing. 
The project team prepared the 
original drafts and conducted quality- 
control reviews of all final narrative 
and data in the report. In addition to 
the report team, Timothy Manuelides 
provided support in preparing 
graphics. Reviews of draft materials 
were provided by Charles N. Ehler, 
Louis W. Butler, Thomas J. Culliton, 
and Paul Paris, all of NOAA. 

Special appreciation is extended to 
the State environmental manage- 
ment, fish and wildlife, and water 
quality enforcement officials who 
provided their time and data through- 
out the project. In addition, Nina 
Harllee of the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency was particularly 
helpful in locating state fish-kill 
program offices and providing fish-kill 
data from EPA's data base and hard 
copy files. 



Comments on this report or ques- 
tions about current and future 
estuarine activities should be ad- 
dressed to : 

Strategic Environmental 

Assessments Division. 
Office of Ocean Resources 

Conservation and Assessment, 
National Ocean Service, 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric 

Administration 
6001 Executive Blvd. 
Rockville. Maryland 20852 



Introduction 



Although fish-kill reporting 
programs around the Nation 
vary greatly, they indicate that 
fish kills have not been a 
pervasive problem in the 
Nation's estuarine and coastal 
areas. However, recurring kills 
or "hotspots" do occur in some 
areas. 

This report summarizes results of 
efforts across the Nation to 
identify, report, and assess the 
causes of fish kills in coastal 
rivers, streams, and estuarine 
waters between 1980 and 1989. 
The location, extent, severity, 
timing, and cause of over 3,600 
fish-kill events are documented. 
Data are shown for the 22 states 
bordering the Atlantic, Gulf of 
Mexico, and Pacific coasts 
(Figure 1). 

It would be ideal if information 
was available on the effects of 
pollutants on all aquatic organ- 
isms. However, this is not the 
case and very little is known 
about how the variety of pollut- 
ants released to the environment 
affects these organisms. One 



approach to understanding these 
effects is to compile information 
on fish kills. 

Although assessments based 
solely on fish kills provide only 
partial and conservative infer- 
ences of pollutant effects, they 
can provide useful information on 
the spatial and temporal dimen- 
sions of potential problems. For 
example, the information com- 
piled in this report contains data 
on the date, location, and 
probable cause of kills. Ana- 
lyzed together, these factors can 
help identify areas where recur- 
ring problems exist. 

The data also provide a temporal 
record that can be used to help 
evaluate evidence of trends in 
water quality. Fish-kill events 
can be related to specific human 
activities such as an accidental 
pesticide spill or the discharge of 
high levels of chlorine disinfec- 
tant from a wastewater treatment 
plant. Events are also linked to 
natural phenomena such as 
oxygen depletion resulting from 
sustained periods of hot weather, 



coupled with low-flow conditions; 
or in many cases, to a more 
complex combination of human- 
related and natural factors such 
as oxygen depletion resulting 
from algal blooms stimulated by 
nutrients carried in nonpoint 
source runoff. 

The information compiled should 
be useful to environmental 
managers and planners at the 
Federal, State, and local level to 
pinpoint "problem" areas. Com- 
piling this information into a 
consistent national framework 
provides decisionmakers con- 
cerned with regional or national 
issues with the ability to target 
areas of concern or devise a 
more uniform approach to data 
collection. 

These data are being used in 
two on-going projects in the 
National Oceanic and Atmo- 
spheric Administration's (NOAA) 
Strategic Environmental Assess- 
ments (SEA) Division. First, fish- 
kill information will be used to 
evaluate the effects of agricul- 
tural pesticide use in coastal 



Figure 1 . Fish-Kill Events Reported in 22 Coastal States, 1980-1989 























r~ — ! 


t 
















[ 




14 


< North 




m 




■ ^J^ Atlantic 


Pacific V ^^ 


^te. 




i 


f 


Middle 
Atlantic 


i\ \' 






^M 


fcU 


2 


South 
Atlantic 




Number of Events 




■ 181 to 1292 

■ 112 to 181 


V Gulf of Mexico 


\ 


| 






□ 32 fo 112 

□ 1 to 32 





















Introduction 



areas (Pait et al.. 1991). Sec- 
ond, they will be used to assess 
nutrient enrichment problems in 
the Nation's estuaries through 
NOAA's National Estuarine 
Eutrophication Survey (Hinga et 
al.. 1991). 

State Programs 

State agencies investigate and 
document fish-kill events 
because they typically signal a 
severe environmental stress on 
a waterbody. Each agency's 
immediate goal is to identify and 
correct the cause of the prob- 
lem. Events are documented so 
that a record of the magnitude 
and probable cause exists in 
case an attempt is made to 
recover costs for the resource 
injury. 

Eighteen of 22 coastal states 
indicated that responding to an 
environmental emergency was 
the primary purpose of their fish- 



kill reporting program(s). 
However, only 1 1 states indi- 
cated that fish-kill events are 
used as an environmental 
indicator in their water-quality 
assessments or in Federal 
assessments such as the 
biennial reports required by 
section 305(b) of the Clean 
Water Act (Environmental Law 
Institute, 1988) (Appendix B). 

EPA Fish-Kill Data Base 

The U.S. Environmental Protec- 
tion Agency (EPA) fish-kill 
reporting program is a continua- 
tion of the U.S. Public Health 
Service program that tracked 
events from 1960 to 1971. It is 
the only program that (until 
recently) has collected informa- 
tion nationwide on fish-kill 
events. Although EPA has not 
published a report since 1976, it 
continued to collect information 
on fish kills until recently. EPA 
encourages states to continue 



to collect data on fish kills for 
inclusion in the 305(b) water- 
quality assessment reports. 

In January 1 991 , EPA discontinued its 
fish-kill reporting program due to 
competing program priorities. 



State participation in the 
program was voluntary and has 
declined significantly since 
1979. In 1988, only 12 of 22 
coastal states reported fish kills 
to EPA. Agencies in several 
states appeared to have been 
unaware of EPA's program. In 
addition, the data collected only 
included pollution-related fish 
kills and not those attributed to 
natural phenomena. Conse- 
quently, a significant cause of 
fish kills (natural phenomena) 
is not accounted for in the EPA 
data base. The EPA data base 
was only of limited use for this 
report (about a third of the 
information presented is from 
the EPA data base). 



Table 1 . Summary of Reported Fish-Kill Events in Coastal States, 1980-1989 



Item 


1980 


1981 


1982 


1983 


1984 


1985 


1986 


1987 


1988 


1989 


Number of states reporting 


21 


21 


16 


15 


17 


18 


20 


20 


19 


18 


Number of events 


279 


358 


283 


283 


263 


340 


519 


424 


464 


442 


Events that reported number 






















of fish killed 


243 


308 


226 


252 


222 


303 


453 


331 


375 


368 


Total estimated number 






















of fish killed (millions) 


138 


97 


12 


22 


41 


33 


24 


4 


32 


6 


Average size of kill (thousands) 


567 


316 


51 


86 


184 


108 


52 


12 


85 


16 


Largest kill reported (millions) 


50 


30 


2 


4 


22 


8 


2 


1 


18 


3 


Reports where extent of area 






















affected was stated 


106 


114 


70 


67 


54 


61 


77 


68 


52 


34 


Flowing waterbodies 






















Number of events 


80 


85 


61 


57 


48 


47 


63 


52 


43 


25 


Miles of stream affected 


232 


309 


77 


96 


173 


94 


170 


73 


66 


30 


Lakes and reservoirs: 






















Number of events 


26 


29 


9 


10 


6 


14 


14 


16 


9 


9 


Acres affected 


16 


113 


1 


1 


<1 


2 


3 


6 


1 


1 



Introduction 



Data Collection and 
Verification 

Data were obtained by either a 
state compiling and sending 
NOAA hard copy or digital files, 
or by the project team making a 
site visit. Site visits were made 
to Maryland, Virginia, Oregon, 
and Washington. 

Information on fish-kill events 
and on the operation of report- 
ing program(s) was collected 
from each state and entered 
into a NOAA data base. Data 
collected on each reportedfish- 
kill event included: 1) name 
and type of waterbody; 2) 
location (county, nearest town, 
and latitude and longitude 
coordinates where available); 
3) date of kill; 4) cause of kill; 
5) species and number of fish 
killed; 6) extent of area af- 
fected; and 7) duration of 
critical effects. Special empha- 
sis was placed on obtaining 
information describing the 
cause of each event. 

When the data provided for an 
event were insufficient to 
characterize the cause, the 
label "unspecified" was 
assigned. For a "land-use" 
cause, 60 percent of all records 
were assigned "unspecified"; 
for incident, 62 percent; and for 
direct cause, 21 percent. In 
cases where the cause re- 
ported did not reflect a naturally 
or human-induced change in 
water quality, the event was 
omitted. For example, kills 
caused by commercial fishing 
operations, recreational fisher- 
men discards, underwater 
explosions, vandalism, spawn- 
ing stress, stocking stress, 
catch and release stress, and 
entrapment in live bait boxes 
were omitted. 



Figure 2. Summary of Fish-Kill Events from 1980-1989 for 22 
Coastal States 



600 



500 



^ 400- 



° 300- 



200- 



100- 




150 



100 « 



-50 



1980 
(21) 


1981 
(21) 


1982 
(16) 


1983 1984 1985 1986 
(15) (17) (18) (20) 

Year 
(Number of States Reporting) 


1987 
(20) 


1988 
(19) 


1989 
(17) 



Major Data Elements 
for Each Event 

Land-use Cause identifies the type of 
land use from which a pollutant 
associated with an event originated 
(e.g., agricultural, industrial, urban, 
impoundment, silviculture, wildland, 
mining, or military operations). Events 
associated with eutrophication, low- 
dissolved oxygen, etc., were termed 
"water-related." 

Source identifies the physical entity or 
activity from which a pollutant associ- 
ated with an event originated (e.g., 
farm, industrial plant, wastewater 
treatment plant, or canal). 

Incident describes the action that 
introduced a pollutant to a waterbody 
(e.g., runoff, routine or accidental 
releases, spill, spraying, natural, 
drawdown, and dredging or drilling 
activities). 

Direct Cause lists the actual cause for 
a fish kill (e.g., low-dissolved oxygen, 
pesticide, stranding, pH, temperature, 
or nutrients). 

Specific Pollutant names the specific 
agent that caused a fish kill. 



To verify the information 
collected, all data were re- 
viewed by the participating 
State agencies. 



This NOAA-developed data 
base was also compared to 
EPA's data base. Event records 
or parts of records were added, 
where appropriate. Sixty-two 
percent of the events in the 
NOAA data base came from 
State agencies, 7 percent from 
local agencies, and 31 percent 
from EPA. 

Information was also collected 
on selected characteristics of 
each State's reporting 
program(s) to better understand 
the Nation's infrastructure for 
fish-kill reporting. Information on 
program organization, investiga- 
tion procedures, on-site and off- 
site testing of fish tissue and 
water samples, documentation, 
distribution of fish-kill-related 
information, and use of the data 
and publications is presented in 
Appendix B. 

Limitations of the Data 

Interpretation of the data pre- 
sented and any conclusions 
drawn must be tempered with a 
clear understanding of the 
limitations of the data. 



Introduction 



Figure 3. Sites of Major Fish-Kill Events from 1980-1989 for 22 Coastal States 




f Major Kill Events 
(>1 million) 





Top Ten Fish Kills 




County Slate 


Waterbody 


Fish Killed 






(millions) 


Galveston. TX 


Jolly Rogers Canal 


50 


Orange. FL 


Lake Apopka 


30 


Anne Arundel, MD 


Chesapeake Bay 


25 


Galveston. TX 


Gull of Mexico 


21 


Galveston, TX 


Clear Creek 


20 


Kent. DE 


Little River 


18 


Harris. TX 


San Jacinto Bay-East 


15 


Wicomico. MD 


Nanticoke River 


14 


Lancaster. VA 


Mulberry Creek-Headwaters 


11 


Chambers. TX 


Old River 


10 




How Complete are the Data? 

An important part of data 
collection was to determine by 
state the proportion documented 
of all probable fish kills occur- 
ring over the 10-year period. 
Twelve of the 22 states indi- 
cated that their reporting 
programs documented more 
than 50 percent of all probable 
kills during the period. The 
states that reported the most 
complete coverage (76-100%) 
were Maine. New Hampshire, 
Massachusetts. Pennsylvania. 
Delaware. North Carolina, and 
South Carolina. The two states 
that reported the least amount 
of coverage (1-25%) were 
California and Washington 
(Appendix B). 

Not all the events documented 
contained the same information 
regarding direct causes and 
numbers of fish killed. Informa- 
tion varied by state and within 
states, depending on available 
resources and the perceived 



severity of an event. Neverthe- 
less, almost 80 percent of all 
events contained some informa- 
tion on the direct cause and 84 
percent contained at least an 
approximation of the number of 
fish killed. 

Factors that Influenced Re- 
porting. The extent to which a 
fish-kill event is reported and 
how completely it is documented 
depends on several factors. 

• How a state assigns responsi- 
bility for investigating fish kills. In 
some states, a single agency is 
responsible. In others, responsi- 
bility is assigned by geographic 
region or type of waterbody 
(fresh versus marine). In this 
case, fish-kill information is more 
dispersed and, therefore, more 
difficult to collect. 

• The staff available to investi- 
gate events. In states with small 
budgets for fish-kill reporting 
programs, there may be an 



inadequate number of staff to 
investigate all events. 

• The emphasis a state places 
on the type of event to investi- 
gate. For example, some states 
only investigate kills of economi- 
cally important fish species, 
while other states respond to all 
kills. 

• The size of the population 
surrounding a waterbody. Fish 
kills are reported more often 
around densely populated areas 
at least in part because more 
people witness and report the 
event. Kills occurring in 
sparsely settled areas often go 
unreported. 

• The timeliness of the investi- 
gation. If the investigation does 
not take place promptly, fish 
wash downstream, sink, or are 
eaten by scavengers, lowering 
the number and possibly the 
species of fish reported killed. 
In addition, the contaminant or 



Introduction 



environmental condition causing 
an event may be diluted or 
degraded so that a direct cause 
can no longer be attributed to a 
kill. 

Although no absolute conclu- 
sions can be drawn from fish-kill 
data alone, combining the data 
with other information on pollu- 
tion releases and environmental 
quality can provide useful 
insights to analysts and 
decisionmakers. 

National Results 

From 1980 to 1989, over 3,650 
fish-kill events were reported in 
533 coastal and near coastal 
counties in 22 states. These 
events involved over 407 million 
fish. The number of events 
reported was highest in 1986 
(519), and the greatest number 
of fish killed was in 1980 (138 
million) (Table 1). The land-use 
cause, incident, and direct cause 
most frequently cited were urban 
land use, natural events, and 
low-dissolved oxygen. 

Trends and Seasonal Varia- 
tions. During the 10-year 
period, the number of states 
reporting events in estuarine and 
coastal waters varied from 1 5 in 
1983 to 21 in 1980 and 1981 
(Figure 2). Consequently, fish- 
kill events are difficult to evaluate 
accurately over time. However, 
an upward trend exists in the 
number of events and a down- 
ward trend in the number of fish 
killed nationwide (Figure 2). 

Seasonal variations play an 
important role in the timing of 
fish-kill events. As might be 
expected, the largest number of 
events (64%) and the highest 
number of fish killed (86%) were 
during the warmest months of 
the year (May through Septem- 



ber). The month with the 
single greatest number of 
events was August, while the 
greatest number of fish killed 
was in June. 

Geographical Distribution. 

States reporting the most fish- 
kill events were Florida (1 ,292), 
Maryland (455), Texas (355), 
and South Carolina (191). The 
top five counties with the 
greatest number of events 
were Palm Beach, FL (383); 
Broward, FL (277); Anne 
Arundel, MD (182); Dade, FL 
(87); and Beaufort, SC (73) 
(Appendix A). 

States reporting the most fish 
killed were Texas (159 million), 
Florida (77 million), Maryland 
(68 million), Delaware (28 
million) and North Carolina (26 
million) (Appendix A). The top 
five counties with the greatest 
number of fish killed were 
Galveston, TX (106 million); 
Orange, FL (36 million); Anne 
Arundel, MD (36 million); Kent, 
DE (24 million); and Harris, TX 
(23 million) (Appendix A). 

Sources and Causes. The 

land-use causes most fre- 
quently cited were urban 
(13%), industrial (7%), and 
agriculture (4%). The top three 
incidents introducing pollutants 
into a waterbody were naturally 
occurring conditions (16%), 
runoff (7%), and routine 
releases (5%). The direct 
causes most frequently cited 
were low-dissolved oxygen 
(41%), wastewater (5%), 
eutrophication (5%), and 
pesticides (4%). 



Major Fish Kills. Eighty-six 

individual events occurred 
where an estimated one million 
or more fish were killed. These 



events took place in 39 counties 
within 14 states. The greatest 
concentration of these events 
was in Galveston (8) and 
Chambers (5) counties in 
Texas; Anne Arundel (8) and 
Wicomico (5) counties in 
Maryland; and Beaufort County 
(6), North Carolina. 

The largest reported fish kill 
occurred in the Jolly Rogers 
Canal, Jamaica Beach, 
Galveston County, Texas, 
where an estimated 50-million 
fish died (Figure 3). The kill 
occurred in June 1980 and was 
attributed to low-dissolved 
oxygen from unspecified 
sources. The only species 
reported killed was gulf menha- 
den (Brevoortia patronus). 

Many different combinations of 
land-use causes and direct 
causes result in major fish-kill 
events (Table 2). However, the 
majority of these events is 
characterized by low-dissolved 
oxygen, high temperatures 
(summer months), a large area 
of water with poor circulation, 
and involves small fish such as 
menhaden (Brevoortia sp.) that 
tend to school in large numbers 
and are very intolerant of low- 
dissolved oxygen conditions. 
Although events occur where a 
relatively toxic substance is 
released or spilled causing 
considerable damage to fish, 
these events occur less fre- 
quently and tend to be more 
localized, killing fewer fish. 

The families of fish most 
commonly involved in a kill 
event are Clupeidae (menha- 
den, shad, herring). 
Centrarchidae (sunfish. bluegill. 
bass), and Cyprinidae (carps, 
minnows, dace, chubs, shin- 
ers). Of the above. Clupeidae 
are involved in 36 percent of all 



Introduction 



fish-kill events and account for 
61 percent of the total number 
of fish killed. 

Five sections follow that present 
results for individual coastal 
regions: North Atlantic; Middle 
Atlantic: South Atlantic; Gulf of 
Mexico: and Pacific. The 
concluding comments section 
discusses potential uses of the 
data. Information on the 
number of events and fish killed 
by region. State, and county, 
and information on State 
reporting programs are provided 
in Appendices A and B. 



Table 2. Land-Use Cause and Direct Cause of Major Fish Kills from 
1980- 1989 for 22 Coastal States 



Land-use cause/ 




Total 


% reports 


Number 


% fish killed 


Direct cause of kill 




reports 




of fish 

(millions) 




Industry 












Eutrophication 




1 


1 


5 


1 


Wastewater 




1 


1 


1 


<1 


Mixed Chemicals 




1 


1 


1 


<1 


Pesticides 




1 


1 


1 


<1 


Subtotal 




4 


5 


8 


<1 


Urban 












Low-Dissolved Ox 


ygen 


1 


1 


1 


<1 


Eutrophication 




1 


1 


1 


<1 


Wastewater 




2 


2 


22 


6 


Mixed Chemicals 




1 


1 


30 


8 


Nutrients 




1 


1 


6 


2 


Subtotal 




6 


7 


60 


16 


Impoundments 












Low-Dissolved Ox 


ygen 


2 


2 


6 


2 


Temperature 




1 


1 


2 


1 


Subtotal 




3 


3 


8 


2 


Water-Related 












Low-Dissolved Oxygen 


16 


19 


64 


17 


Temperature 




5 


6 


36 


10 


Eutrophication 




3 


3 


5 


1 


Stranding 




2 


2 


15 


4 


Storm Event 




1 


1 


3 


1 


Salinity Change 




3 


3 


7 


2 


Subtotal 




30 


35 


129 


35 


Unspecified 




43 


50 


169 


45 



Total 



86 



100 



375 



100 



North Atlantic 



Figure 4. Reported Fish-Kill Events by County. 1980-1989 



New 
Hampshire 



Massachusetts 




■ 4 to 1 3 

■ 2 to 3 

□ 1 

□ No events reported 



North Atlantic 



The North Atlantic had the 
least number of events and 
least number of fish killed 
among regions. This can be 
partially explained by the 
climate and physical features 
of the estuaries in this region. 
The number of events re- 
ported each year was greatest 
during the summer months. 
The greatest number of 
events occurred in Penobscot 
County, Maine. Wastewater 
discharges, low-dissolved 
oxygen, and chemical re- 
leases were the three leading 
direct causes of fish kills. 

The Data 

In this region, 92 percent of 
reports included the number of 
fish killed, 84 percent included 
the direct cause of the event, 77 
percent included the land-use 
cause, and 67 percent included 
the type of incident (Appendix 
A). This region had the second 
most complete reporting of the 
number of fish killed and direct 
causes among regions. Of the 
states in this region, Maine's 
reporting was the most com- 
plete and New Hampshire's was 
the least complete. 

Fish-Kill Events 

Fish-kill events were reported in 
1 5 of the 31 counties in the 
study area (16 counties in 
Maine, 8 in New Hampshire, 
and 7 in Massachusetts) 
(Figure 4). 

The North Atlantic had the 
fewest number of reported 
events (48) and least number of 
fish killed (4,090,300). Maine 
accounted for over half of the 
fish-kill events reported in the 
region with 28, followed by 
Massachusetts (19) and New 
Hampshire (1). 



Figure 5. Number of Events and Fish Killed. 1980-1989 



4.000 



c 

CD 
> 
LU 

"O 
01 

c 
o 

D. 
CD 
DC 




Massachusetts accounted for 
the majority of the fish killed in 
the region, with almost 3.9 
million or 96 percent of all 
reported fish killed between 
1980 and 1989. However, 
most of the total for Massa- 
chusetts can be attributed to 
one event that occurred in 
July 1983 in Wellfleet Harbor 
in Cape Cod Bay. Over 3.9 
million fish were reported 
killed in this event. The 
incident was reported as a 
natural event, and the direct 
cause cited was low-dissolved 
oxygen. No other single 
event in the region accounted 



for more than 100,500 fish 
killed. 

Trends. The number of 
events reported from 1980 to 
1989 does not appear to show 
a trend (Figure 5). However. 
an apparent seasonal pattern 
exists in the region. The 
majority of events and the 
greatest number of fish killed 
were reported in July. August, 
and September (Figure 6). 
This seasonal pattern exists 
across the Nation, with the 
majority of kills occurring 
during the summer months. 



Figure 6. Number of Events and Fish Killed by Month. 1980-1989 




400 




JFMAMJJASOND 
Month 



J FMAMJJASOND 
Month 



North Atlantic 



Sources and Causes 

A number of factors may 
account for the relatively low 
number of fish kills observed in 
the North Atlantic. The climate 
of this region is colder than 
other regions. Therefore, fish 
are subjected to less thermal 
stress. The generally fast- 
flowing rivers in the region and 
the strong tides and basin 
geometry in many of its estuar- 
ies result in well mixed and 
aerated waterbodies not highly 
susceptible to stratification and 
associated low-dissolved 
oxygen levels. This is in 
contrast to the more placid 
coastal plain rivers and shallow 
drowned-river systems in the 
Middle Atlantic. South Atlantic, 
and Gulf of Mexico. Finally, the 
North Atlantic covers the 
smallest land area of the five 
regions, has the lowest percent- 
age of agricultural land (a 
potentially important land-use 
cause), and contains only 4 
percent of all the existing point 
sources in the five coastal 
regions (NOAA. 1990). As a 
result, impacts due to human 
activities are less severe in this 
region 

The sources and causes of fish 
kills can be broken down into 
two different types of events. 
One type is related to human 
activities such as routine 
releases of wastewater or 
mixed chemicals from a variety 
of different sources (e.g.. 
trucking accidents, various 
industries, sewage treatment 
plants, and pig farms). 

Routine releases were the most 
frequently cited incidents 
causing these fish kills (Figure 
7). The majority of the routine 
releases was emitted from 
industrial plants. Wastewater 



discharges, low-dissolved 
oxygen, and pH were the three 
leading direct causes of fish kills 
(Figure 8). Industry and agricul- 
ture were the two leading land- 
use causes associated with fish 
kills in the region (Figure 9). 

The other type of event that led 
to a substantial number of kills 
in the region is naturally occur- 
ring phenomenon caused by a 
combination of environmental 
factors (i.e., water and air 
temperatures, wind, precipita- 
tion, and resident flora). Most of 
these events can be attributed 
to one or more of the following: 
low-dissolved oxygen; predatory 
stress; high temperatures; algal 
blooms; and/or bacterial infec- 
tions. 

In Maine, all 28 of the reported 
events indicated the direct 
cause of the kill. Wastewater 
was the direct cause in nine of 
the 28 events. Twenty-five of 
the 28 reported events indicated 
the land-use cause of the kill. 
Industrial land use was the land- 
use cause in 1 9 of the 25 
events. In 25 of the 28 reported 
events, a direct cause was 
linked with a land-use cause. 

In New Hampshire, the direct 
cause of the only reported fish- 
kill event was inorganic chemi- 
cals/metals, and the land-use 
cause was urban land use. 

In Massachusetts, 12 of the 19 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in four of the 12 events. 
Eleven of the 19 reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Agricultural 
land use was the land-use 
cause in six of the 1 1 events. In 
nine of the 19 reported events, 
a direct cause was linked with a 
land-use cause. 



Figure 7. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Type of 
Incident' 



Drawdown 
(13%) 



Routine release 
(34%) 



(13% 




Figure 8. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Direct 
Cause* 

Stranding 

(7%)_ All others 

(32%) 




Low-dissolved 


Wastewater 


oxygen 


(29%) 


(22%) 





Figure 9. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Land-Use 
Cause* 



Water- 
related 
(19%) J 



All others 
(3%) 




Agricultural 
(19%) 



Industrial 
(51%) 



'Does not include information from 
unspecified events. 



10 



North Atlantic 



Data tables containing the 
number of events and fish killed 
by county, state, region, year, 
direct cause, land-use cause, 
and incident are in Appendix A. 

Hotspots and 
Recurring Kills 

The greatest number of kills (13) 
in the region occurred in 
Penobscot County, Maine. 
Twelve of these were attributed 
to releases from industrial land 
use. This county contains 45 
industrial sources, six of which 
are related to production of 
paper products. 

Mattanawcook stream in 
Penobscot County was the site 
of nine fish-kill events between 
1986 and 1989, eight of which 
were caused by a single pulp/ 
paper processing operation 
located on this stream. In 1989, 
the State took legal action 
against the plant. As a result, 
this plant has not been involved 
in any other reported fish-kill 
events. No other stream in the 
region had more than two events 
during the 10-year period. 

The only other area in the region 
where a large number of kills 
was reported was Barnstable 
County, Massachusetts, with ten 
kills between 1980 and 1989. 
However, most were due to 
natural causes. 

State Reporting 
Programs 

Each of the three North Atlantic 
states uses a different approach 
when collecting fish-kill data. 
The discussion below highlights 
which agencies in each state are 
involved in fish-kill reporting and 
when they are most likely to 
make an on-site investigation of 



a fish-kill event. Information 
concerning each state's pro- 
gram organization, investigative 
procedures, and use of data are 
summarized in Appendix B. 

Maine has three agencies that 
may be involved in the fish-kill 
investigation process: the 
Department of Environmental 
Protection (DEP); Department of 
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; 
and the Department of Marine 
Resources. DEP is the only 
organization that provided fish- 
kill data to NOAA. The state 
indicated that field visits are 
likely to be made when an event 
is reported (i.e., more than 75 
percent of the time). 

New Hampshire's Marine 
Division, within the Department 
of Fish and Game, has primary 
responsibility for all fish kills 
occurring in the state. They also 
provided fish-kill data for this 
report. They conduct field 
investigations of fish-kill events 
approximately 5 percent of the 
time and are more likely to 
respond to an event if large 
numbers of fish are involved in 
the kill. 

Massachusetts has the largest 
program of the three North 
Atlantic states. The responsibil- 
ity is shared between two 
agencies: Division of Marine 
Fisheries (marine- and coastal- 
related kills), and the Division of 
Fisheries and Wildlife (freshwa- 
ter kills). Both provided fish-kill 
data to NOAA. They also 
reported that field visits are 
standard procedure when an 
event is reported (i.e., more than 
75 percent of the time). 



11 



Middle Atlantic 



Figure 10. Reported Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980- 1989 




Rhode Island 
Connecticut 



Number of Events 

■ 51 to 200 

■ 26 to 50 

■ 1 1 to 25 
□ 1 to 1 

No events reported 



12 



Middle Atlantic 



The Middle Atlantic had the 
second highest number of 
events and number of fish 
killed among regions. This 
can be partially explained by 
the climate and physical 
features of the estuaries in 
this region. The number of 
events reported each year 
was greatest during the 
summer months. The great- 
est number of events oc- 
curred in Anne Arundel 
County, Maryland. Low- 
dissolved oxygen, disease, 
and wastewater discharges 
were the three leading direct 
causes of fish kills. 

The Data 



Figure 1 1 . Number of Events and Fish Killed, 1980-1989 



3,000 




80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 
Year 



Assessment of the important 
sources and causes of events in 
this region is hampered by the 
gaps in cause-related informa- 
tion reported by each state. In 
this region, 65 percent of the 
reports included the number of 
fish killed, 69 percent included 
the direct cause of the event, 48 
percent included the land-use 
cause, and 45 percent included 
the type of incident (Appendix 
A). The Middle Atlantic had the 
most incomplete reporting of the 
number of fish killed and direct 
causes among regions. Of the 
states in this region, 
Connecticut's reporting was the 
most complete and New 
Jersey's was the most incom- 
plete. 

Fish-Kill Events 

Fish-kill events were reported in 
1 13 of the 149 counties (includ- 
ing the District of Columbia) in 
the study area (5 counties in 
Massachusetts, 5 in Rhode 
Island, 8 in Connecticut, 20 in 
New York, 20 in New Jersey, 7 
in Pennsylvania, 3 in Delaware, 
21 in Maryland including the 



District of Columbia, and 60 in 
Virginia) (Figure 10). 

This region had the second 
highest number of reported 
events (1 ,033) and fish killed 
(115,339,200). Maryland 
accounted for over one-third of 
the fish-kill events reported in 
the region (455), followed by 
New York (151); Delaware 
(120); New Jersey (112); 
Virginia (98); Connecticut (55); 
Rhode Island (18); Pennsylvania 
(16); and Massachusetts (8). 

Maryland also had the highest 
number of fish killed in the 
region, with about 68 million or 



59 percent of all reported fish 
killed between 1980 and 1989. 
Twenty events in Maryland 
involved the death of over a 
million fish. Eight of these 
occurred in Anne Arundel County 
and five in Wicomico County. 

Trends. The number of events 
reported from 1980 to 1989 
shows an upward trend (Figure 
11). From 1980 to 1984. the 
largest number of fish-kill events 
occurring in a single year was 81 
in 1980. However, from 1985 to 
1989, at least 100 events 
occurred each year, with the 
largest being 177 in 1988. A 
seasonal pattern also exists in 



Figure 1 2. Number of Events and Fish Killed by Month. 1980- 1989 



300 



200 



100 




400 




J FMAMJJASOND 
Month 



J FMAMJJASOND 
Month 



13 



Middle Atlantic 



this region. Most events were 
reported between June and 
August (Figure 12). However. 
the greatest numbers of fish killed 
were reported in February. 
August, and September. This 
seasonal pattern exists across 
the Nation, with the majority of 
kills occurring during the summer 
months. 



Sources and Causes 

A number of factors may account 
for the relatively high number of 
fish kills in the Middle Atlantic. 
The shallow drowned-river 
systems in the region and the 
weak tides and basin geometry in 
many of its estuaries result in 
poorly mixed and aerated 
waterbodies susceptible to 
stratification and associated low- 
dissolved oxygen levels. This 
region also has the greatest 
human population density and 
the greatest percentage of urban 
land among regions (NOAA, 
1990). 

Naturally occurring events 
dominate the region, with the top 
two direct causes reported as 
low-dissolved oxygen levels and 
disease (Figures 13 and 14). In 
addition, a significant impact is 
caused by routine wastewater 
releases and/or spills occurring in 
urban and industrial land-use 
areas (Figure 15). These events 
reflect kills related to inputs from 
human activities. 

In Massachusetts, five of the 
eight reported events indicated 
the direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause reported in two of the five 
events. Three of the eight 
reported events indicated the 
land-use cause of the kill. 
Industrial land use was the land- 
use cause in two of the three 



events. In only three of the 
eight events was a land-use 
cause reported along with a 
direct cause. 

In Rhode Island. 13 of the 18 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in nine of the 1 3 events. 
Five of the 18 reported events 
indicated the land-use cause of 
the kill. Urban land use was the 
land-use cause in two of the five 
events. A direct cause was 
associated with a land-use 
cause in only five of the 1 8 
reported events. 

In Connecticut. 42 of the 55 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in nine of the 42 events. 
Seventeen of the 55 reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Industrial land 
use was the land-use cause in 
six of the 17 events. In only 16 
of the 55 reported events was a 
direct cause linked with a 
specific land use. 

In New York, 116 of the 151 

reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 18 of the 1 16 events. 
Ninety-three of the 151 reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Impoundments 
were the land-use cause 
identified in 33 of the 93 events. 
In 86 of the 151 reported 
events, a land-use cause was 
reported along with a direct 
cause. 

In New Jersey. 64 of the 112 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Pesti- 
cides were the direct cause in 
nine of the 64 events. Thirty- 
three of the 112 reported events 
indicated the land-use cause of 



Figure 13. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Type of 
Incident' 



Accidental release 



others 




Routine release 
(11%) 



Natural 
(65%) 



Figure 14. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Direct 
Cause* 



Wastewater 
(6%) 



Chlorine Low-dissolved 
(6%) oxygen 

(41%) 



Disease 
(12% 




All others 
(35%) 



Figure 15. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Land- Use 
Cause* 



All others 
Impoundment (5%) 

(13% 



Industrial 

(14%) 




Water- 
related 
(46%) 



Urban 

(22%) 



'Does not include information from 
unspecified events. 



14 



Middle Atlantic 



the kill. Urban land use was the 
land-use cause in 16 of the 33 
events. A direct cause was 
associated with a specific land 
use in only 31 of the 112 
reported events. 

In Pennsylvania, ten of the 1 6 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Pesti- 
cides were the direct cause in 
three of the ten events. Thir- 
teen of the 1 6 reported events 
indicated the land-use cause of 
the kill. Urban land use was the 
land-use cause in six of the 13 
events. In 10 of the 16 reported 
events, a direct cause was 
linked with a land-use cause. 

In Delaware, 72 of the 120 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 36 of the 72 events. 
Thirty-three of the 120 reported 
events indicated a land-use 
cause of the kill. Urban land 
use was the land-use cause in 
ten of the 33 events. In only 30 
of the 1 20 reported events was 
a land-use cause reported 
along with a direct cause. 

In Maryland, 333 of the 455 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 200 of the 333 events. 
Of the 455 reported events, 249 
indicated the land-use cause of 
the kill. Water-related land use 
was the land-use cause in 188 
of the 249 events. A direct 
cause was associated with a 
specific land use in 241 of the 
455 reported events. 

In Virginia, 60 of the 98 re- 
ported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 12 of the 60 events. 
Fifty of the 98 reported events 
indicated the land-use cause of 
the kill. Industrial land use was 



the land-use cause in 1 7 of the 
50 events. In 49 of the 98 
reported events, the land-use 
cause was linked with the direct 
cause. 

Data tables containing the 
number of events and fish killed 
by county, state, region, year, 
direct cause, land-use cause, 
and incident are in Appendix A. 

Hotspots and 
Recurring Kills 

Two counties in Maryland 
reported the highest number of 
fish-kill events for the Middle 
Atlantic region. One hundred 
and eighty-two events were 
reported in Anne Arundel County 
(accounting for 31% of all 
reported fish kills in the region), 
and 47 events occurred in 
Baltimore County. Most of these 
kills were attributed to low- 
dissolved oxygen levels. 

The waterbody having the most 
events in this region was the 
Magothy River Basin (43 events) 
in Anne Arundel County, Mary- 
land. This river has a history of 
over-enrichment problems. 
However, this situation was 
further exacerbated in February 
1 986 when the waste from a 
break in a sewage line was 
discharged into the river. 
Twenty-four of the 43 reported 
events for this river occurred 
between May and October 1986. 
The Hudson River/Raritan Bay 
area, which traverses seven New 
York counties and four New 
Jersey counties, was another 
waterbody for which numerous 
events were reported. Nineteen 
fish-kill events were reported for 
this waterbody between 1980 
and 1 989. However, most of the 
records for these events did not 
contain information on the cause 
of the kills. 



State Reporting 
Programs 

Each of the nine Middle Atlantic 
states uses a different ap- 
proach when collecting fish-kill 
data. The discussion below 
highlights which agencies in 
each state are involved in fish- 
kill reporting and when they are 
most likely to make an on-site 
investigation of a fish-kill event. 
Information concerning each 
state's program organization, 
investigative procedures, and 
use of data are summarized in 
Appendix B. 

Massachusetts (see the North 
Atlantic region). 

Rhode Island has three 
different divisions within the 
Department of Environmental 
Management (DEM) that may 
be involved in the fish-kill 
investigation process. These 
divisions are Enforcement 
(handles initial response and 
assessment). Fish and Wildlife 
(responds only if kill occurs in a 
pond or lake, or if only one fish 
species is involved and less 
than 100 fish are killed), and 
Water Resources (handles 
pollution-related kills and works 
jointly with Fish and Wildlife on 
large kills). The Water Re- 
sources Division is the only 
office that provided fish-kill data 
for this report. However. 
because each division should 
provide full documentation to 
each other for all fish kills, data 
provided should be complete 
for the state. Before May 1988. 
the state had no formal fish kill 
response policy. Now. field 
visits are made when: a large 
number of fish is involved (this 
state's cutoff is 100 fish); the 
public becomes concerned: 
and or personnel are available 
to respond. 



15 



Middle Atlantic 



Connecticut has two divisions 
(Water Management and 
Fisheries) under the Depart- 
ment of Environmental Protec- 
tion (DEP) that respond to and 
document fish kills. The Water 
Management Division is 
primarily concerned with kills 
caused by industrial dis- 
charges, while the Fisheries 
Division responds to and 
investigates all kills. Only 
Fisheries provided fish-kill data 
for this report (their response 
included data from both divi- 
sions). The Fisheries contact 
indicated that field visits are 
generally standard procedure 
when an event is reported. 

New York has five divisions 
within its Department of Envi- 
ronmental Conservation (DEC) 
that may be involved in the fish- 
kill investigation process: Fish 
and Wildlife: Law Enforcement; 
Water; Hazardous Substances 
Regulation: and Marine and 
Coastal Resources. The Fish 
and Wildlife Division provided 
statewide fish-kill data for this 
report. An on-site investigation 
is made when a large number 
of fish is involved in the kill and/ 
or when the public becomes 
concerned. 

New Jersey has two divisions 
within the Department of 
Environmental Protection that 
respond to fish-kill events. The 
Fish. Game, and Wildlife 
Division handles inland kills, 
while the Marine Fisheries 
Division responds to coastal 
water kills. However, only the 
Fish. Game, and Wildlife 
regional offices provided fish-kill 
data for this report. Field visits 
are likely to be made when a 
large number of fish is involved 
or when the public becomes 
concerned. 



Pennsylvania's fish kill program 
consists of three agencies: the 
Department of Environmental 
Resources' Bureau of Water 
Quality; the Fish Commission's 
Bureau of Law Enforcement; and 
the Emergency Management 
Agency. Due to a staff shortage 
at the Fish Commission, fish-kill 
data for this report were obtained 
from the EPA data base. Field 
visits to fish-kill sites are made 
the majority of the time (i.e., 
more than 75 percent of the 
time). 

Delaware's program is con- 
ducted by the Department of 
Natural Resources and Environ- 
mental Control's (DNREC) 
Division of Fish and Wildlife. The 
Fish and Wildlife Division pro- 
vided fish-kill data for this report. 
It reports that field visits are 
standard procedure and they 
respond more than 75 percent of 
the time. 

Maryland's program is con- 
ducted by the Water Quality 
Monitoring Division, Department 
of the Environment. The Water 
Quality Monitoring Division 
provided fish-kill data for this 
report. Field visits are likely to 
be made when a large number of 
fish is involved in a kill or when 
the public becomes concerned. 

Virginia has two agencies that 
may be involved in the fish-kill 
investigation process: the Water 
Control Board (WCB) and the 
Department of Game and Inland 
Fisheries. The WCB provided 
fish-kill data for this report. Field 
visits are likely to be made when 
a large number of fish is involved 
in the kill, the public becomes 
concerned, and/or personnel are 
available to respond. 



16 



South Atlantic 



Figure 1 6. Reported Fish-Kill Events by County. 1980-1989 




Number of Events 

■ 91 to 400 

■ 41 to 90 

■ 1 1 to 40 

□ 1 to 1 

□ No events reported 



18 



South Atlantic 



The South Atlantic had the 
highest number of events and 
the third highest number of 
fish killed among regions. 
This can be partially ex- 
plained by the climate and 
physical features of the 
estuaries in this region. The 
number of events reported 
each year was greatest during 
the summer months. The 
greatest number of events 
occurred in Palm Beach 
County, Florida. Low-dis- 
solved oxygen, eutrophica- 
tion, and pesticides were the 
three leading direct causes of 
fish kills. 

The Data 

In this region, 96 percent of the 
reports included the number of 
fish killed, 84 percent included 
the direct cause of the event, 26 
percent included the land-use 
cause, and 25 percent included 
the type of incident (Appendix 
A). The South Atlantic had the 
most complete reporting of the 
direct cause and number of fish 
killed among regions. Of the 
states in this region, Florida's 
reporting was the most com- 
plete and Georgia's was the 
most incomplete. 

Fish-Kill Events 

Fish-kill events were reported in 
79 of the 1 25 counties in the 
study area (4 in Virginia, 44 in 
North Carolina, 24 in South 
Carolina, 29 in Georgia, and 24 
in Florida) (Figure 16). 

This region had the highest 
number of reported events 
(1,450) and third highest 
number of fish killed 
(95,291,300). Florida ac- 
counted for almost three quar- 
ters of the fish-kill events 
reported in the region with 



Figure 1 7. Number of Events and Fish Killed, 1980-1989 



6,000 




1 ,042, followed by South Caro- 
lina (191); North Carolina (153); 
Georgia (33); and Virginia (31). 

Florida also had the highest 
number of fish killed in the 
region, with over 64 million or 67 
percent of all reported fish killed 
between 1980 and 1989. Eight 
events occurred in Florida in 
which over a million fish were 
killed. Four of these occurred in 
Marion County and two in 
Orange County. (For more 
information on Florida, see inset 
on page 21). 

Trends. The number of events 
reported from 1 980 to 1 989 



shows an upward trend (Figure 
17). From 1980 to 1984. the 
largest number of fish-kill events 
occurring in a single year was 
133 in 1981. However, from 
1985 to 1989. at least 150 
events occurred each year, with 
the largest being 243 in 1986. 
An apparent seasonal pattern 
also exists in this region. The 
majority of events and the 
greatest number of fish killed 
were reported between June and 
August (Figure 18). This sea- 
sonal pattern exists across the 
Nation, with the majority of kills 
occurring during the summer 
months. 



Figure 1 8. Number of Events and Fish Killed by Month. 1980-1989 



300 




400 



o 100 



* 50 



-i — i — r - 1 — i — i — ; — i — i — i — r 
J FMAMJ J ASOND 

Month 




J FMAMJJASOND 
Month 



19 



South Atlantic 



Sources and Causes 

A number of factors may 
account for the relatively high 
number of fish kills observed in 
the South Atlantic. The shallow 
drowned-river systems in the 
region and the weak tides and 
basin geometry in many of its 
estuaries result in poorly mixed 
and aerated waterbodies 
susceptible to stratification and 
associated low-dissolved 
oxygen levels. This region also 
has the second largest total 
estuarine drainage area, the 
highest intensity of pesticide 
application, and the second 
highest application rate of 
nutrients among regions 
(NOAA, 1990). 

Kills associated with runoff from 
urban and agricultural land use 
dominate the region, with the 
top two direct causes reported 
as low-dissolved oxygen levels 
and eutrophication (Figures 19, 

20 and 21). In addition, natu- 
rally occurring events had a 
significant impact on the 
waterbodies in this region 
(Figure 19). 

In Virginia, 21 of the 31 re- 
ported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause reported in eight of the 

21 events. Fifteen of the 31 
reported events indicated the 
land-use cause of the kill. 
Water-related land use was the 
land-use cause in eight of the 
15 events. In 15 of the 31 
reported events, a land-use 
cause was reported along with 
a direct cause. 

In North Carolina, 108 of the 
153 reported events indicated 
the direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 38 of the 108 events. 



Seventy-nine of the 153 reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Water-related 
land use was the land-use cause 
in 42 of the 79 events. In 78 of 
the 153 reported events, a direct 
cause was associated with a 
land-use cause. 

In South Carolina, 138 of the 

191 reported events indicated 
the direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 60 of the 138 events. 
Nineteen of the 191 reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Urban land use 
was the land-use cause in 12 of 
the 19 events. In only 17 of the 
191 reported events was a direct 
cause linked with a specific land- 
use cause. 

In Georgia, 27 of the 33 re- 
ported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Waste- 
water discharge was the direct 
cause in six of the 27 events. 
Twenty-two of the 33 reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Urban land use 
was the land-use cause identi- 
fied in 1 1 of the 22 events. In 22 
of the 33 reported events, a 
land-use cause was reported 
along with a direct cause. 

In Florida, 929 of the 1 ,042 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 728 of the 929 events. 
Two hundred and thirty-nine of 
the 1 ,042 reported events 
indicated the land-use cause of 
the kill. Urban land use was the 
land-use cause in 158 of the 239 
events. In only 228 of the 1 ,042 
reported events was a direct 
cause associated with a specific 
land-use cause. 

Data tables containing the 
number of events and fish killed 
by county, state, region, year, 



Figure 19. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Type of 
Incident* 



Routine 


Accidental 


release 


release 


Al, < 8 *U 


r (5%) 


others ^d j 




(9%)^ " 





Runoff 
Natural v (46%) 

(32%) 

Figure 20. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Direct 
Cause* 

Pesticides 

Eutro- (5 % ) | Temperature 

phication ^^^- (3%) 

(io%; 




All others 
(13%) Low-dissolved 

oxygen 
(69%) 

Figure 21 . Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Land- Use 
Cause* 



Impoundment 
(11%) 



All others 

(7%: 




Agri- Urban 

cultural Water- (50%) 

(12%) related 
(20%) 



'Does not include information from 
unspecified events. 



20 



South Atlantic 



direct cause, land-use cause, 
and incident are in Appendix A. 

Hotspots and 
Recurring Kills 

Two counties in Florida reported 
the highest number of fish-kill 
events for the South Atlantic 
region. Three hundred and 
eighty-three events were 
reported in Palm Beach County 
(accounting for 37% of all 
reported fish kills in the region), 
and 277 events occurred in 
Broward County. Most of these 
kills were attributed to low- 
dissolved oxygen levels. 

The St. Johns River Basin which 
traverses six Florida counties 
(Brevard, Clay, Duval, Marion, 
Seminole, and Volusia) was the 
waterbody for which the most 
events (29) were reported in this 
region. This river has a history 
of over-enrichment problems. 
The river also receives dis- 
charges of irrigation water from 
surrounding agricultural farms 
(citrus and sugarcane fields). 
Over half of the events were 
caused by low-dissolved oxygen 
conditions. The Pamlico River, 
which flows through three North 
Carolina counties (Beaufort, 
Hyde, and Pamlico), was 
another waterbody for which 
numerous events were reported. 
Twenty-three fish-kill events 
were reported for this waterbody 
between 1981 and 1989. The 
majority of the reports cited 
some type of naturally occurring 
condition as the direct cause 
such as low-dissolved oxygen 
levels, disease, bacteria, 
fungus, and/or changes in 
salinity. 

Florida and North Carolina have 
set up special programs to 
monitor these two waterbodies 



because these coastal waters 
were under severe environ- 
mental stress. 



Florida - A Special Case 

Florida ranks first in number of 
events (1 ,292) and number of fish 
killed (over 77 million) among 
states. Several reasons help to 
explain this. First, the entire state 
(54,153 sq. mi.) is defined as 
"coastal" (Bureau of Census, 
1988). The state with the second 
largest area is California (39,575 
sq. mi.) (NOAA, 1987). 

Second, Florida has a large 
number of artificial canals, lakes, 
and impoundments located in and 
around residential subdivisions. 
These waters are prone to 
eutrophication problems. Kills 
occurring in them are easily 
observed and frequently reported 
because of their proximity to the 
surrounding communities. 

Third, the state's high year-round 
temperatures and extremely high 
summer temperatures greatly 
contribute to kills associated with 
low-dissolved oxygen levels and 
eutrophication. 



State Reporting 
Programs 

Each of the five South Atlantic 
states uses a different ap- 
proach when collecting fish-kill 
data. The discussion below 
highlights which agencies in 
each state are involved in fish- 
kill reporting and when they are 
most likely to make an on-site 
investigation of a fish-kill event. 
Information concerning each 
state's program organization, 
investigative procedures, and 
use of data are summarized in 
Appendix B. 

Virginia (see the Middle 
Atlantic region). 



North Carolina's fish-kill 
program is primarily covered by 
three agencies: the Depart- 
ment of Environment. Health, 
and Natural Resources (re- 
sponds to all kills to help 
determine cause); the Depart- 
ment of Crime Control and 
Public Safety (involved with 
emergency management and 
pollution testing); and the 
Wildlife Commission (deals with 
surveying kill sites to determine 
number and species of fish 
killed, and their economic 
value). In addition, through a 
cooperative effort between two 
divisions (Environmental 
Management and Marine 
Fisheries) in the Department of 
Environment Health and 
Natural Resources, the Pamlico 
Estuarine Response Team 
(PERT) was formed in 1988 to 
respond to the increasing 
number of fish-kill events in the 
Pamilco River/Sound. The 
Department of Environment. 
Health, and Natural Resources' 
Division of Environmental 
Management provided fish-kill 
data for this report. It reported 
that field visits are standard 
procedure, and they respond 
more than 75 percent of the 
time. 

South Carolina's fish-kill 
program is run by two agen- 
cies: the Bureau of Solid and 
Hazardous Waste Management 
in South Carolina's Department 
of Health and Environmental 
Control (SCDHEC): and the 
Department of Wildlife and 
Marine Resources. The 
Department of Wildlife and 
Marine Resources is primarily 
concerned with kills occurring 
in public waters, while the 
SCDHEC responds and 
investigates all kills. Only 
SCDHEC provided fish-kill data 
for this report. An on-site 



21 



South Atlantic 



investigation is made when a 
large number of fish is involved 
in the kill and or when the public 
becomes concerned. 

Georgia has three divisions 
within its Department of Natural 
Resources that may be involved 
in the fish-kill investigation 
process: Environmental Protec- 
tion (initial contact and response 
that confirms a fish-kill event); 
Coastal Resources (investigates 
marine and coastal water kills); 
and Game and Fish Division 
(investigates freshwater events). 
The Coastal Resource and the 
Game and Fish Divisions pro- 
vided fish-kill data for this report. 
They reported that field visits are 
standard procedure and that they 
respond more than 75 percent of 
the time. 

Florida's fish-kill reporting is 
primarily covered by two agen- 
cies: the Department of Environ- 
mental Regulation (DER) which 
consists of a central office and 
six district offices; and the Game 
and Freshwater Fish Commis- 
sion which consists of a central 
and five regional offices. The 
central office and one of the 
district offices of the DER, four of 
the regional offices of the Game 
and Freshwater Fish Commis- 
sion, and the Bioenvironmental 
Services Division of Duval 
County all provided fish-kill data 
for this report. The central DER 
office reported that field visits are 
likely to be made when the public 
becomes concerned. 



22 



Gulf of Mexico 



Figure 22. Reported Fish-Kill Events by County. 1980-1989 




24 



Gulf of Mexico 



The Gulf of Mexico had the 
third highest number of 
events and the highest 
number of fish killed among 
regions. This can be partially 
explained by the climate and 
physical features of the 
estuaries in this region. The 
number of events reported 
each year was greatest during 
the summer months. The 
greatest number of events 
occurred in Galveston 
County, Texas. Low- 
dissolved oxygen, storm 
events, and wastewater 
discharges were the three 
leading direct causes of fish 
kills. 

The Data 



Figure 23. Number of Events and Fish Killed, 1980-1989 



100 



1 1 .000 



"D 

t: 
o 

Q. 
Q) 
CE 




In this region, 75 percent of the 
reports included the number of 
fish killed, 84 percent included 
the direct cause of the event, 54 
percent included the land-use 
cause, and 50 percent included 
the type of incident (Appendix 
A). The Gulf of Mexico had the 
fourth most complete reporting 
of the direct cause and number 
of fish killed among regions. Of 
the states in this region, 
Alabama's reporting was the 
most complete and Louisiana's 
was the most incomplete. 

Fish-Kill Events 

Fish-kill events were reported in 
100 of the 164 counties in the 
study area (4 counties in 
Georgia, 43 in Florida, 14 in 
Alabama, 17 in Mississippi, 39 
in Louisiana, and 47 in Texas) 
(Figure 22). 

This region had the third highest 
number of reported events (830) 
and the highest number of fish 
killed (188,161,000). Texas 
accounted for almost half of the 
fish-kill events reported in the 



region (355), followed by Florida 
(250); Louisiana (172); Alabama 
(44); Mississippi (7); and Georgia 
(2). 

Texas also had the highest 
number of fish killed in the 
region, with approximately 
1 59 million or 85 percent of all 
reported fish killed between 1980 
and 1989. Twenty-one events in 
Texas involved the death of over 
a million fish. Eight of these 
occurred in Galveston County 
and five in Chambers County. 

Trends. The number of events 
reported from 1980 to 1989 does 
not show any trend (Figure 23). 



However, an apparent seasonal 
pattern exists in this region. 
Most events were reported 
during May, August, and 
September (Figure 24). How- 
ever, the greatest numbers of 
fish killed were reported in June. 
August, and September (Figure 
24). This seasonal pattern 
exists across the Nation, with 
the majority of kills occurring 
during the summer months. 

Sources and Causes 

A number of factors may 
account for the relatively high 
number of events and fish killed 



Figure 24. Number of Events and Fish Killed by Month, 1980- 1989 




1.000 






100 




- 



JFMAMJJASOND 
Month 



FMAMJ J ASOND 
Month 



25 



Gulf of Mexico 



in the Gulf of Mexico. This 
region has the highest percent- 
age of agricultural land, applica- 
tion of fertilizers and pesticides, 
industrial point sources, and 
municipal wastewater treatment 
plants among regions (NOAA. 
1990). Estuaries in this region 
have an average depth of eight 
feet, the shallowest among 
regions, which restricts their 
ability to assimilate the loadings 
of pollutants mentioned above 
(NOAA. 1990). These factors, in 
addition to the hot/humid climate, 
contribute to waterbodies that 
are frequently nutrient-enriched 
and thermally stressed. The 
result is frequent low-dissolved 
oxygen levels, particularly in the 
summer, that can lead to fish 
kills. 

Naturally occurring events 
dominate the region, with the top 
two direct causes reported as 
low-dissolved oxygen levels and 
wastewater (Figures 25 and 26). 
In addition, a significant impact is 
caused by runoff from storm 
events in urban areas and/or by 
routine and accidental releases 
from industrial land uses (Figure 
27). These events reflect kills 
related to impacts from human 
activities. 

In Florida. 219 of the 250 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause reported in 1 1 6 of the 21 9 
events. Of the 250 reported 
events. 109 indicated the land- 
use cause of the kill. Urban land 
use was the land-use cause in 
56 of the 109 events. In only 106 
of the 250 events was a land-use 
cause reported along with a 
direct cause. 

In Georgia one of the two 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Waste- 
water was the direct cause in this 



event. Both of the reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Industrial and 
urban land use were the land- 
use causes for these events. A 
direct cause was associated 
with a land-use cause in one of 
the two reported events. 

In Alabama, 40 of the 44 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 23 of the 40 events. 
Sixteen of the 44 reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Urban land 
use was the land-use cause in 
ten of the 16 events. In only 16 
of the 44 reported events was a 
direct cause linked with a 
specific land-use cause. 

In Mississippi, six of the seven 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. A 
change in salinity was the direct 
cause in three of the six events. 
Five of the seven reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Water-related 
land use was the land-use 
cause identified in all five of the 
events. In five of the seven 
reported events, a land-use 
cause was reported along with a 
direct cause. 

In Louisiana, 146 of the 172 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 63 of the 146 events. 
Of the 1 72 reported events, 1 08 
indicated the land-use cause of 
the kill. Impoundments were 
the land-use cause in 36 of the 
108 events. A direct cause was 
associated with a specific land- 
use cause in 1 07 of the 1 72 
reported events. 

In Texas. 291 of the 355 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 



Figure 25. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Type of 
Incident' 



Accidental 
release 
Routine (12%) 
release 
(14% 




Natural 
\(37%) 



All others 
(18%) 



Runoff 
(19%) 



Figure 26. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Direct 
Cause* 

Temperature 
Storm (6%) Low-dissolved 
event oxygen 

(7%) ^^M (46%) 

/4^ 




Waste 
water 
(10%) All others 
(31%) 

Figure 27. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Land- Use 
Cause* 



Impoundment 
(15% 



r 



All others 



Industrial 
(22% 




Urban 
(33%) 



'Does not include information from 
unspecified events. 



26 



Gulf of Mexico 



dissolved oxygen was the direct 
cause in 1 19 ot the 291 events. 
Of the 355 reported events, 208 
indicated the land-use cause of 
the kill. Water-related land use 
was the land-use cause in 67 of 
the 208 events. A direct cause 
was associated with a specific 
land-use cause in 201 of the 
355 reported events. 

Data tables containing the 
number of events and fish killed 
by county, state, region, year, 
direct cause, land-use cause, 
and incident are in Appendix A. 

Hotspots and 
Recurring Kills 

Two counties in Texas reported 
the highest number of fish-kill 
events for the Gulf of Mexico 
region: Galveston County (72) 
and Harris County (66). 
Galveston County had the 
highest number of fish killed 
(almost 106 million) of all the 
counties in the entire study 
area. Half of these kills were 
attributed to low-dissolved 
oxygen levels that were not 
associated with a land-use 
cause. 

Galveston Bay was the 
waterbody for which the most 
events (28) were reported in 
this region. Large portions of 
Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, 
Harris, and Liberty counties are 
in the Galveston Bay estuarine 
drainage area (EDA). Taken 
together, these counties contain 
the highest concentration of 
point sources in the Nation's 
coastal area. Fifteen percent of 
all industrial point sources and 
municipal wastewater treatment 
plants in the study area are 
located in the Galveston Bay 
EDA. Seventeen of the 28 kills 
in the Galveston Bay EDA were 
related to low-dissolved oxygen 



and temperature. Five of the 17 
events were caused by releases 
of cooling water from power 
plants. 

The only other area in the region 
where a large number of kills 
was reported was Collier 
County in Florida, with 49 events 
between 1980 and 1989. Most 
of these kills were due to low- 
dissolved oxygen and/or exces- 
sive nutrient loadings. 

State Reporting 
Programs 

Each of the six Gulf of Mexico 
states uses a different approach 
when collecting fish-kill data. 
The discussion below highlights 
which agencies in each state are 
involved in fish-kill reporting and 
when they are most likely to 
make an on-site investigation of 
a fish-kill event. Information 
concerning each state's program 
organization, investigative 
procedures, and use of data are 
summarized in Appendix B. 

Florida (see the South Atlantic 
region). 

Georgia (see the South Atlantic 
region). 

Alabama has two agencies that 
may be involved in the fish-kill 
investigation process: the 
Department of Environmental 
Management (DEM) and the 
Department of Conservation and 
Natural Resources. The DEM 
provided the fish-kill data for this 
report. Field visits to fish-kill 
sites are made more than 75 
percent of the time. 

Mississippi has two agencies 
that may be involved in the fish- 
kill investigation process: the 
Department of Environmental 
Quality (DEQ); and the Depart- 



ment of Wildlife, Fisheries and 
Parks. The two bureaus within 
DEQ are Pollution Control 
(responsible for all state waters) 
and Marine Resources (may 
investigate some coastal kills). 
The Bureau of Pollution Control 
is the office that provided the 
fish-kill data for this report. Field 
visits to fish-kill sites are made 
more than 75 percent of the 
time. 

Louisiana's fish-kill program is 
conducted by three agencies: 
the Department of Environmen- 
tal Quality (DEQ); the Depart- 
ment of Wildlife and Fisheries 
(DWF); and the Department of 
Agriculture. The DWF investi- 
gates kills caused by naturally 
occurring fish diseases, while 
the DEQ responds to and 
investigates all kills. DEQ 
provided the fish-kill data for this 
report. The DEQ contact 
indicated that field visits are 
generally made when an event 
is reported. 

Texas has two different agen- 
cies that respond to and docu- 
ment fish kills: the Texas Park 
and Wildlife Department 
(TPWD) and the Texas Water 
Commission (TWC). The TWC 
has the lead on water-quality 
problems relating to discharges, 
while the TPWD responds to. 
investigates, and is responsible 
for recovering damages to fish 
and wildlife for all kills. The 
TPWD provided statewide fish- 
kill data for this report. Field 
visits are likely to be made 
when: a large number of fish is 
involved in a kill; the public 
becomes concerned: personnel 
are available to respond: a 
responsible party can be identi- 
fied: and/or the kill may be 
related to a particular cause or 
contaminant. 



27 



Pacific 



Figure 28. Reported Fish-Kill Events by County. 1980-1989 




Number of Events 

■ 21 to 40 

■ 1 1 to 20 

■ 6 to 1 

□ 1 to 5 

□ No events reported 



28 



Pacific 



The Pacific had the fourth 
highest number of events and 
number of fish killed among 
regions. This can be partially 
explained by the climate and 
physical features of the 
estuaries in this region. The 
number of events reported 
each year was greatest 
during the summer months. 
The greatest number of 
events occurred in King 
County, Washington. Low- 
dissolved oxygen, pesticides, 
and animal wastes were the 
three leading direct causes of 
fish kills. 

The Data 

In this region, 88 percent of the 
reports included the number of 
fish killed, 73 percent included 
the direct cause of the event, 47 
percent included the land-use 
cause, and 39 percent included 
the type of incident (Appendix 
A). The Pacific had the third 
most complete reporting of the 
direct cause and number of fish 
killed among regions. Of the 
states in this region, California's 
reporting was the most com- 
plete and Washington's was the 
most incomplete. 

Fish-Kill Events 

Fish-kill events were reported in 
47 of the 64 counties in the 
study area (29 counties in 
California, 16 in Oregon, and 19 
in Washington) (Figure 28). 

This region had the fourth 
highest number of reported 
events (293) and fish killed 
(4,281,100). California ac- 
counted for over half of the fish- 
kill events reported in the region 
with 148, followed by Washing- 
ton (105); and Oregon (40). 

Washington had the highest 
number of fish killed in the 



Figure 29. Number of Events and Fish Killed, 1980-1989 



100 



90 



80 



70 



9 60 
LU 



50 



8- 4 ° 

DC 



30- 



20- 



10 




3.500 



700 



600 o 



500 *. 

"D 

400 = 



300 £ 



200 



100 



80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 



Year 



region, with over 3.3 million or 
77 percent of all reported fish 
killed between 1980 and 1989. 
Seventy-nine percent of these 
fish were killed in a single 
event that occurred in August 
1981 in Cultus Bay, located in 
Island County. The event 
lasted for one day and was 
reported as a natural event that 
occurred in a poorly designed 
marina. The direct cause cited 
was low-dissolved oxygen. 

Trends. The number of events 
reported from 1 980 to 1 989 
shows a general downward 
trend (Figure 29). From 1980 
to 1982, at least 37 events 
occurred each year, with the 



largest being 49 in 1 981 . 
However, from 1983 to 1989. 
no more than 28 fish-kill events 
occurred in a single year 
(except in 1987 when 38 
events were reported). In 
addition, an apparent seasonal 
pattern also exists in this 
region. Most events were 
reported between April and 
September (Figure 30). How- 
ever, the greatest numbers of 
fish killed were reported in 
January, August, and Septem- 
ber. A seasonal pattern exists 
across the Nation, with the 
majority of kills occurring 
during the summer months. 



Figure 30. Number of Events and Fish Killed by Month. 1980-1989 




300 



"i — i — i — i — i — i — i — i — i — i — r 
J FMAMJ J ASOND 

Month 




J FMAMJJASOND 
Month 



29 



Pacific 



Sources and Causes 

The Pacific region spans the 
widest geographic and climatic 
range of the five regions. In 
California, from San Francisco 
Bay south, the weather is 
generally warm and portions of 
the coast are densely popu- 
lated. In this area, the preva- 
lent direct cause of kills is low- 
dissolved oxygen and pesti- 
cides which occur in the 
agricultural drainage canals 
and freshwater reservoirs in 
the state. In contrast. Oregon 
and Washington tend to have 
more problems with spills and 
routine releases (e.g., chemi- 
cals from industrial plants in 
Oregon and animal wastes 
from dairy farms in Washing- 
ton). 

The top two direct causes of 
fish kills reported for the entire 
region were low-dissolved 
oxygen levels and pesticides 
(Figure 32). Kills related to 
impacts from human activities 
dominate the region, such as 
spills and routine or accidental 
releases occurring in agricul- 
tural, urban, and industrial 
land-use areas (Figures 31 
and 33). In addition, almost a 
quarter of the events in the 
region is related to naturally 
occurring events (Figure 31). 

In California, 1 10 of the 148 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was the 
direct cause reported in 25 of 
the 110 events. Forty-four of 
the 148 reported events 
indicated the land-use cause 
of the kill. Impoundments 
were the land-use cause in 13 
of the 44 events. In only 44 of 
the 148 events was a land-use 
cause reported along with a 
direct cause. 



In Oregon, 29 of the 40 re- 
ported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. An 
assortment of chemicals/metals 
(i.e., organic chemicals, inor- 
ganic chemicals/metals, and 
mixed chemicals) was the direct 
cause in 13 of the 29 events. 
Twenty-four of the 40 reported 
events indicated the land-use 
cause of the kill. Industrial land 
use was the land-use cause in 
13 of the 24 events. A direct 
cause was associated with a 
land-use cause in 22 of the 40 
reported events. 

In Washington, 76 of the 105 
reported events indicated the 
direct cause of the kill. Animal 
waste was the direct cause in 
21 of the 76 events. Sixty-nine 
of the 1 05 reported events 
indicated the land-use cause of 
the kill. Agricultural land use 
was the land-use cause in 26 of 
the 69 events. In 64 of the 1 05 
reported events, a direct cause 
was linked with a specific land- 
use cause. 

Data tables containing the 
number of events and fish killed 
by county, state, region, year, 
direct cause, land-use cause, 
and incident are in Appendix A. 

Hotspots and 
Recurring Kills 

King County (39 events) in 
Washington and San Joaquin 
County (27 events) in California 
reported the highest number of 
fish-kill events in the region. 
The kills in King County were 
attributed to a variety of direct 
causes and land-use causes 
with no single type of event 
being dominant. However, the 
most frequently cited direct 
cause was chlorine that had 
been routinely released from an 
urban land-use area (e.g., water 



Figure 31 . Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Type of 
Incident* 

Accidental 
release 
All M1"/< 

others 

(20%). 




Natural 
(21%) 



Routine 
release 
(23%) 



Figure 32. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Direct 
Cause * 



Chlorine 
Animal (11%) 
Waste 
(12% 



All others 
(49%) 




Pesticides 

(13%) Low-dissolved 
oxygen 

(15%) 

Figure 33. Number of Fish-Kill 
Events by Land- Use 
Cause * 



r- All others 
Impoundment | (11%) 
(17% 

L 



Agriculture 
(30%) 



Industrial 
(19%) 




Urban 

(23%) 



'Does not include information from 
unspecified events. 



30 



Pacific 



treatment facility, construction 
site, water pipeline, and 
chlorinated wells). In contrast, 
the majority of the kills in San 
Joaquin County did not have a 
direct cause or an associated 
land-use cause. Eight of the 27 
events reported low-dissolved 
oxygen levels as the direct 
cause of the event. 

Johnson Creek, located in 
Oregon's Clackamas and 
Multnomah counties, was the 
waterbody for which the most 
events (9) were reported in this 
region. This creek is a tributary 
of the Willamette River. 
Twenty-five percent of all the 
fish killed in Oregon were killed 
in this creek. The majority of 
the events cited the direct 
cause as a mixture of chemi- 
cals from unspecified sources. 
Whatcom Creek in Whatcom 
County, Washington, was 
another waterbody for which 
numerous events (5) were 
reported between 1981 and 
1 989. Most of the records for 
these events did not contain 
information on the associated 
land-use cause. However, 
pesticides were cited as the 
direct cause in three of the 
events. 

State Reporting 
Programs 

Each of the three Pacific states 
uses a different approach when 
collecting fish-kill data. The 
discussion below highlights 
which agencies in each state 
are involved in fish-kill reporting 
and when they are most likely 
to make an on-site investigation 
of a fish-kill event. Information 
concerning each state's 
program organization, investi- 
gative procedures, and use of 
data are summarized in Appen- 
dix B. 



California has two divisions 
(Marine Resources and Inland 
Fisheries) under the Department 
of Fish and Game (DFG) that 
investigate and document fish 
kills. DFG's Environmental 
Services Division (the central 
clearinghouse for California's 
fish-kill records) provided fish-kill 
data for this report. The Envi- 
ronmental Services contact 
indicated that field visits are 
generally standard procedure 
when an event is reported. 

Oregon has two agencies that 
may be involved in the fish-kill 
investigation process: the 
Department of Environmental 
Quality (DEQ) and the Depart- 
ment of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). 
The DEQ is specifically inter- 
ested in kills caused by pollu- 
tion, while the DFW responds to 
all kills. Both agencies provided 
fish-kill data for this report. Field 
visits are more likely to be made 
when a large number of fish is 
involved in a kill. 

Washington's program is 
conducted by the Department of 
Ecology. It provided fish-kill 
data for this project and reported 
that field visits to fish-kill sites 
are made more than 75 percent 
of the time. 



31 



Concluding Comments 



Fish-kill reporting programs 
provide an incomplete picture 
of the Nation's fish-kill prob- 
lems. Even so. they indicate 
that fish kills have not been a 
pervasive problem in the 
Nation's estuarine and coastal 
areas. Taken together, the 
data generated by these State 
and local programs also 
provide a basis for quantifying 
and understanding certain 
aspects of fish kills. Several 
conclusions regarding the 
uses and limitations of these 
data are important to note. 

Compiling State Data is 
Difficult. Although all 22 coastal 
states maintain some form of 
fish-kill reporting program, data 
compilation is difficult. Reporting 
responsibilities within most 
states are often shared by 
several agencies. Consequently, 
data are in varied formats and 
gaps occur in some states as a 
result of lapses in State pro- 
grams or data lost during the 
transfer of program responsibili- 
ties. The analysis problem is 
further compounded because no 
Federal agency or national 
organization maintains a com- 
prehensive and up-to-date data 
base for the Nation. 

Data Content Varies Among 
States. There is a wide variation 
in organization, level of activity, 
priorities, investigative proce- 
dures, documentation require- 
ments, and reporting formats 
among states. As a result, the 
data content of the information 
characterizing fish kills varies 
from state to state. This lack of 
consistency in data content 
makes it difficult to reconcile 
differences in state-to-state and 
regional comparisons. 

Little Evidence of Impacts on 
Fish Populations. Fish kills in 
coastal waters do not appear to 



occur with sufficient frequency or 
involve enough fish to pose a 
significant threat to fish popula- 
tions in most areas. None of the 
State programs surveyed 
indicated population impacts 
resulting from fish kills. Even if 
the estimates reported are 
doubled to account for incom- 
plete reporting, the number of 
fish killed is still relatively small 
compared to estimates of 
existing populations in most 
areas. 

Assessing Trends is Difficult. 

Although the number of events in 
coastal areas has increased over 
the past decade, the number of 
fish killed has decreased. The 
cause of these apparent trends 
is not clear. The rise in the 
number of events may indicate a 
decline in water quality during 
this period, or reflect an in- 
creased emphasis on reporting. 
Because the data are incomplete 
and lack uniformity, conclusive 
statements at the national or 
regional level cannot be made. 
However, a recurring seasonal 
pattern appears in all states, 
indicating most events take place 
during the summer, from May to 
September. 

Hotspots Can Sometimes be 
Targeted. Fish-kill data are 
most frequently used by State 
agencies to identify areas 
experiencing acute environmen- 
tal stress. Ideally, the agency 
uses the data to quickly deter- 
mine the source of the stress 
and correct the problem. How- 
ever, repeat kills may sometimes 
occur before action is taken. 
The fish kills in Mattanawcook 
Stream in Maine are a good 
example of how fish-kill data 
were used to identify and correct 
a discharge problem from a 
single source (page 1 1). In other 
cases, fish-kill events have lead 
to a more in-depth investigation 



of water-quality problems. The 
Pamlico Estuarine Response 
Team (PERT), formed in North 
Carolina, is an example of how 
fish-kill data have been used to 
target an area experiencing 
ongoing water-quality problems 
(page 21). 

Low-Dissolved Oxygen 
Causes Most Kills. Low- 
dissolved oxygen was reported 
as the direct cause of a kill in 41 
percent of the cases reporting 
cause. Although spills or acci- 
dental releases from point 
sources still occur, the majority 
of human-induced kills is now 
attributed to runoff from various 
nonpoint sources. Conversa- 
tions with State fish-kill officials 
indicate that kills caused by 
pollutants from point sources 
(industries and wastewater 
treatment plants) have been 
reduced in the last 10 to15 years 
due to improvements in treat- 
ment. They also noted a de- 
crease in kills associated with 
compounds such as DDT and 
other chlorinated pesticides that 
are now used less frequently or 
are banned entirely. 



32 



References 

Bureau of the Census. 1 988. 
County and City Data Book 
(1988). U.S. Department of 
Commerce. Washington. D.C. 
p. 68 

Environmental Law Institute. 
1 988. Clean Water Deskbook. 
Washington. DC. p. 77 

Hinga. K.R.. D.W. Stanley. C.J. 
Klein. D.T. Lucid, and M.J. 
Katz (eds). 1991. The Na- 
tional Estuarine Eutrophication 
Project: Workshop Proceed- 
ings. Rockville. MD: National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration and the Univer- 
sity of Rhode Island Graduate 
School of Oceanography. 41 
PP- 

NOAA. 1987. National 
Estuarine Inventory: Data 
Atlas. Volume 2: Land- Use 
Characteristics. Rockville, MD: 
National Oceanic and Atmo- 
spheric Administration. 40 pp. 

NOAA. 1990. Estuaries of the 
United States: Vital Statistics 
of a National Resource Base. 
Strategic Assessment Branch, 
Rockville, MD. 79 pp. 

Pait. A. S.. A. DeSouza, and 
D.R.G Farrow. 1991. Agricul- 
tural Pesticides in Coastal 
Areas: A National Summary. 
Rockville. MD: National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration. (In prepara- 
tion) 

Personal 
Communications 

Federal Agencies 

Farrow. D.: Strategic Environ- 
mental Assessments Division, 
National Oceanic and Atmo- 
spheric Administration. 
Rockville. MD (p. 1. para 7) 



Harllee. N.: Monitoring and Data 
Support Division: Office of Water 
Enforcement and Permits: U.S. 
Environmental Protection 
Agency; Washington, D.C. (see 
Acknowledgements and EPA 
Fish-Kill Data Base, p. 2) 



State Agencies 

Alabama 

Williford, E. J.; Alabama's 
Department of Environmental 
Management; Montgomery, AL. 
(P- 27) 

California 

Fransen, H.R.; Environmental 
Services Division; California's 
Department of Fish and Game; 
Rancho Cordova, CA. (p. 31) 

Connecticut 

Jacobson, R. A.; Water Man- 
agement and Fisheries Division; 
Connecticut's Department of 
Environmental Protection; 
Hartford, CT. (p. 16) 



Delaware 

Miller, R. W.; Division of Fish 
and Wildlife; Delaware's Depart- 
ment of Natural Resources and 
Environmental Control; Dover, 
DE. (p. 16) 



Florida 

Champeau, T.; South Region, 
Florida's Game and Freshwater 
Fish Commission; Lakeland, FL. 
(p. 22) 

Krummrich. J.; Northeast 
Region, Florida's Game and 
Freshwater Fish Commission; 
Lake City. FL. (p. 22) 



McKinney, S.; Central Region, 
Florida's Game and Freshwater 
Fish Commission; Ocala, FL. 
(p. 22) 

Morton, R. D.; Bioenvironmental 
Services Division, Duval 
County; Jacksonville, FL. (p. 

22) 

Olsen, L. A.; Florida's Depart- 
ment of Environmental Regula- 
tion; Tallahassee, FL. (p. 22) 

Romeis, G.; South District 
Office, Florida's Department of 
Environmental Regulation; Fort 
Myer, FL. (p. 22) 

Ross, Landon; Florida's Depart- 
ment of Environmental Regula- 
tion; Tallahassee, FL. (see Hot- 
Spots and Recurring Kills, p. 22) 

Walton, A. S.; South District 
Office; Florida's Department of 
Environmental Regulation; 
Punta Gorda, FL. (p. 22) 

Young, N.; Northwest Region, 
Florida's Game and Freshwater 
Fish Commission; DeFuniak 
Springs, FL. (p. 22) 



Georgia 

Coomer, C. Jr.; Fisheries 
Section; Game and Fish Divi- 
sion; Georgia's Department of 
Natural Resources; Atlanta, GA. 
(p. 22) 

Shipman, S.; Coastal Re- 
sources Division; Georgia's 
Department of Natural Re- 
sources; Brunswick, GA. (p. 22) 

Louisiana 

Albritton, R.; Louisiana's 
Department of Environmental 
Quality; Baton Rogue, LA. (p. 

27) 



34 



References 



Maine 

Courtmanch, D.; Maine's Depart- 
ment of Environmental Protection; 
Augusta, ME. (see Maine, and 
Hot-Spots and Recurring Kills, p. 
11) 

Maryland 

Poukish, C; Water Quality 
Monitoring Division; Maryland's 
Department of the Environment; 
Annapolis, MD. (p. 16) 

Massachusetts 

Fiske, J. D.; Division of Marine 
Fisheries; Massachusetts' Depart- 
ment of Fisheries, Wildlife, and 
Environmental Law Enforcement; 
Sandwich, MA. (p. 11) 

Keller, R.; Division of Fisheries 
and Wildlife; Massachusetts' 
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, 
and Environmental Law Enforce- 
ment; Westboro, MA. (p. 11) 

Mississippi 

Rodgers, S.; Bureau of Pollution 
Control; Mississippi's Department 
of Environmental Quality; Pearl, 
MS. (p. 27) 

New Hampshire 

Ingham, W. Jr.; New Hampshire's 
Department of Fish and Game; 
Durham, NH. (p. 11) 

Nelson, J.; New Hampshire's 
Department of Fish and Game; 
Durham, NH. (p. 11) 

New Jersey 

Murza, S.; Bureau of Law En- 
forcement; Fish, Game, and 
Wildlife Division; New Jersey's 
Department of Environmental 
Protection; Trenton, NJ. (p. 16) 



Winkel, R.; Bureau of Law 
Enforcement; Fish, Game, and 
Wildlife Division; New Jersey's 
Department of Environmental 
Protection; Trenton, NJ. (p. 
16) 

New York 

Spodaryk, J.; New York's 
Department of Environmental 
Conservation; Gloversville, NY. 
(p. 16) 



North Carolina 

Wiggins, K.; Division of Envi- 
ronmental Management; North 
Carolina's Department of 
Environment, Health, and 
Natural Resources; Raleigh, 
NC. (p. 21) 

Oregon 

Robart, G.; Oregon's Depart- 
ment of Fish and Wildlife; 
Portland, OR. (p. 31) 

Pennsylvania 

Manhart, E. W.; Bureau of Law 
Enforcement; Pennsylvania's 
Fish Commission; Harrisburg, 
PA. (p. 16) 

Rhode Island 

Richardson, R. E.; Water 
Resources Division; Rhode 
Island's Department of Envi- 
ronmental Management; 
Providence, Rl. (p. 15) 

South Carolina 

Adams, C; Bureau of Solid 
and Hazardous Waste Man- 
agement; South Carolina's 
Department of Health and 
Environmental Control; Colum- 
bia, SC. (p. 21) 



Kinney, R.; Waste Assessment 
and Emergency Response; 
Bureau of Solid and Hazardous 
Waste Management: South 
Carolina's Department of Health 
and Environmental Control: 
Columbia, SC. (p. 21) 

Texas 

Palafox, D.; Resource Protection 
Division; Texas Parks and 
Wildlife Department; Austin, TX. 
(p. 27) 

Palma, V.; Resource Protection 
Division; Texas Parks and 
Wildlife Department; Austin. TX. 
(P- 27) 

Virginia 

Sykes, M.A.; Pollution Remedia- 
tion Program; Virginia Water 
Control Board; Richmond. VA. 
(p. 16) 

Washington 

LeVander, L.; Northwest Re- 
gional Office; Washington's 
Department of Ecology: 
Redmond, WA. (p. 31) 

Kittle, L; Central Office; Wash- 
ington's Department of Ecology: 
Olympia. WA. (p. 31) 



35 



Appendix A - North Atlantic 



New 
Hampshire 



Maine 



Massachusetts 




Coastal County Number 



36 



North Atlantic 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 











% of events 


% of events 


# of events 








Killed 


where # killed 


where cause 


where 1 million or 


State/County 


Events 


(x100) 


was reported 


of kill was reported 


more fish were killed 


Maine 














1 


Androscoggin 


3 


80 


100 


100 





2 


Aroostook 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


3 


Cumberland 


1 


2 


100 


100 





4 


Franklin 


1 


1 


100 


100 





5 


Hancock 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


6 


Kennebec 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


7 


Knox 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


8 


Lincoln 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


9 


Oxford 


2 


1,005 


50 


100 





10 


Penobscot 


13 


31 


92 


100 





11 


Piscataquis 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


12 


Sagadahoc 


3 


460 


100 


100 





13 


Somerset 


2 


4 


100 


100 





14 Waldo 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


15 


Washington 


2 


45 


100 


100 





16 


York 


1 


NR 





100 







Subtotal 


28 


1,628 


90 


100 





New Hampshire 












17 


Belknap 


1 


1 


100 


100 





18 Carroll 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


19 Coos 


WD 


WD 


WD 


wo 


WD 


20 


Grafton 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


21 


Hillsborough 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


22 


Merrimack 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


23 


Rockingham 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


24 


Strafford 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 




Subtotal 


1 


1 


100 


100 





Massachusetts 












25 


Barnstable 


10 


39,207 


90 


70 


1 


26 


Essex 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


27 


Middlesex 


2 


4 


100 


50 





28 


Norfolk 


3 


23 


100 


67 





29 


Plymouth 


3 


34 


100 


67 





30 


Suffolk 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


31 


Worcester 


1 


6 


100 










Subtotal 


19 


39,273 


95 


51 


1 


Total 




48 


40,903 


92 


84 


1 


National Total 


3,654 


4,071,630 


84 


79 


86 



Abbreviations: %, percent; #. number; NR. number of fish killed not reported; WD, no data was received. 



37 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by Year, 1980-1989 



Maine 



Year 

1980 
1981 
1982 
1983 
1984 
1985 
1986 
1987 
1988 
1989 

Total 



New 
Hampshi 


re 


e 




k 


1 




1 










































































1 




1 



Massachusetts 



Total 



2 
1 

2 
6 
2 
3 
3 
2 
6 
1 

28 



1.030 

20 

6 

76 

310 

107 

12 

2 

62 

3 

1,628 



2 


19 


4 


39 








1 


39,119 


1 


3 


5 


82 








2 


2 


2 


2 


2 


8 



19 



39,273 



5 


1,050 


5 


59 


2 


6 


7 


39,195 


3 


313 


8 


189 


3 


12 


4 


4 


8 


64 


3 


10 


48 


40,903 



Fish-Kill Events by Direct Cause, 1980-1989 



Maine 



Direct Cause 



New 
Hampshire 

e k 



Massachusetts 



Total 



Low D. 


5 


488 


Temperature 


1 


2 


Sedimentation 








Eutrophication 








Disease 








Stranding 


2 


6 


Storm Event 


1 


NR 


Wastewater 


9 


1.019 


Animal Waste 








pH 


4 


6 


Organic Chemicals 


2 


21 


Inorganic Chemicals/Metals 


2 


70 


Mixed Chemicals 


1 


7 


Pesticides 








Nutrients 








Salinity Changes 








Petroleum 


1 


10 


Chlorine 








Red Tide 








Predation 








Unspecified 








Total 


28 


1,628 



4 


39.126 


1 


3 














1 


1 


1 


3 








3 


17 
































2 


45 






































7 


79 


19 


39,273 



9 


39,614 


2 


5 














1 


1 


3 


9 


1 


NR 


12 


1,036 








4 


6 


2 


21 


3 


71 


1 


7 


2 


45 














1 


10 




















7 


79 


48 


40,903 



Abbreviations: e number of events;*, number of fish killed in hundreds of fish: NR, number of fish killed not reported; Low DO., low-dissolved oxygen. 
a Not all counties in state included; state is split between regions. 



38 



North Atlantic 



Fish-Kill Events by Land-Use Cause, 1980-1989 







Maine 


New 
Hampshi 


re 


Massachusetts ' 




Total 


Land-Use Cause 


e 


k 


e 




k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Agriculture 


1 


NR 










6 


79 


7 


79 


Industrial 


19 


1,147 
















19 


1,147 


Urban 


1 


5 


1 




1 


1 


3 


3 


9 


Impoundment 


1 


1 
















1 


1 


Water- Related 


3 


460 










4 


8 


7 


468 


Silviculture 




























Wildland 




























Mining 




























Military 




























Unspecified 


3 


15 










8 


39,183 


11 


39,198 


Total 


28 


1,628 


1 




1 


19 


39,273 


48 


40,903 



Fish-Kill Events by Incident, 1980-1989 







Maine 




New 




Massachusetts 




Total 


Incident 


e 


k 


I 

e 


Hampshire 
k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Runoff 


1 


NR 


1 




1 


1 


30 


3 


31 


Routine Release 


9 


1,021 










2 


4 


11 


1,025 


Accidental Release 


1 


NR 
















1 


NR 


Spill 


3 


32 










1 


13 


4 


45 


Spraying 
















1 


15 


1 


15 


Natural 


3 


460 










5 


39,127 


8 


39,587 


Drawdown 


3 


9 










1 


3 


4 


12 


Dredging or Drilling 




























Unspecified 


8 


107 










8 


82 


16 


189 


Total 


28 


1,628 


1 




1 


19 


39,273 


48 


40,903 



Abbreviations: e number of events; k, number of fish killed in hundreds of fish; NR, number of fish killed not reported, 
a. Not all counties in state included; state is split between regions. 



39 



Appendix A - Middle Atlantic 



Northern 




Rhode Island 
Connecticut 



Southern 



Pennsylvania 



Maryland 




Delaware 



11 Coastal County Number 



40 



Middle Atlantic 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 



Killed 



State/County 


Events 


(x100) 


was repor 


Middle Atlantic (Northern) 








Massachusetts 








1 


Barnstable 


Data found in 


the North Atlantic region. 




2 


Berkshire 


1 


<1 


100 


3 


Bristol 


5 


232 


100 


4 


Dukes 


ND 


ND 


ND 


5 


Hampden 


2 


126 


100 


* 


Nantucket 


ND 


ND 


ND 


6 


Norfolk 


Data found in 


the North Atlantic region. 




7 


Plymouth 


Data found in 


the North Atlantic region. 




8 


Worcester 


Data found in 


the North Atlantic region. 






Subtotal 


8 


358 


100 


Rhode Island 








9 


Bristol 


ND 


ND 


ND 


10 


Kent 


6 


46 


100 


11 


Newport 


2 


22 


50 


12 


Providence 


7 


17 


71 


13 


Washington 


3 


52 


100 




Subtotal 


18 


136 


83 


Connecticut 








14 


Fairfield 


8 


1,337 


88 


15 


Hartford 


11 


23 


82 


16 


Litchfield 


4 


27 


100 


17 


Middlesex 


8 


161 


100 


18 


New Haven 


9 


1,100 


100 


19 


New London 


11 


143 


91 


20 


Tolland 


2 


2 


100 


21 


Windham 


2 


1 


100 




Subtotal 


55 


2,794 


93 


New York 








22 


Albany 


8 


549 


75 


23 


Bronx 


2 


20,000 


100 


24 


Columbia 


11 


229 


73 


25 


Dutchess 


11 


11 


100 


26 


Greene 


11 


45 


73 


27 


Kings 


WD 


ND 


WD 


28 


Nassau 


1 


NR 





29 


New York 


ND 


ND 


ND 


30 


Orange 


28 


208 


93 


31 


Putnam 


11 


59 


100 


32 


Queens 


1 


20 


100 


33 


Rensselaer 


17 


11.635 


76 


34 


Richmond 


2 


100 


100 


35 


Rockland 


9 


30 


78 


36 


Schenectady 


ND 


ND 


ND 



% of events % of events # of events 

where # killed where cause where 1 million or 

of kill was reported more fish were killed 





60 
WD 
100 
WD 



63 



WD 
83 
50 
71 
67 
72 

75 
82 
75 
63 
78 
73 
100 
100 
76 

63 

100 
91 
91 
73 
WD 

100 
WD 
75 
82 

100 
65 

100 
67 
WD 






WD 


WD 



WD 

















2 




WD 


WD 




1 




WD 



Abbreviations: %, percent; #, number; NR. number of fish killed not reported; WD.no data was received 
* Not shown on map. 



41 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 



State County 

Middle Atlantic (Northern) 

New York (cont.) 

37 Schoharie 

38 Suffolk 

39 Sullivan 

40 Ulster 

41 Westchester 
Subtotal 

New Jersey 

42 Atlantic 

43 Bergen 

44 Burlington 

45 Camden 

46 Cape May 

47 Cumberland 

48 Essex 

49 Gloucester 

50 Hudson 

51 Hunterdon 

52 Mercer 

53 Middlesex 

54 Monmouth 

55 Morris 

56 Ocean 

57 Passaic 

58 Salem 

59 Somerset 

60 Sussex 

61 Union 
Subtotal 

Pennsylvania 

62 Bucks 

63 Chester 

64 Delaware 

65 Lancaster 

66 Montgomery 

67 Philadelphia 

68 York 
Subtotal 

Delaware 

69 Kent 

70 Newcastle 

71 Sussex 
Subtotal 



Events 



1 

7 

WD 

14 

17 

151 

ND 

10 

8 

3 

ND 

1 

3 

9 

2 

3 

6 

11 

13 

11 

4 

6 

5 

9 

3 

5 

112 

3 

8 

3 

ND 

1 

1 

ND 

16 

46 

38 

36 

120 



Killed 
(x100) 



% of events 
where # killed 
was reported 



% of events # of events 

where cause where 1 million or 

of kill was reported more fish were killed 



<1 
38 
ND 
136 
82 
33,142 

ND 
NR 
NR 
NR 
ND 
NR 
<1 
NR 
NR 
NR 
2 

101 
NR 
<1 
NR 
NR 
NR 
NR 
NR 
NR 

103 

22 

144 

36 

ND 

<1 

5 

ND 

207 

236.781 

396 

43.056 

280,233 



100 
100 
ND 
100 
94 
88 



ND 




ND 


33 




17 
9 

9 






4 

100 
100 
67 
ND 
100 
100 
ND 
94 

98 

100 

97 

98 



100 
57 
WD 
79 
82 
77 



WD 
80 
75 
67 
WD 


33 
67 


67 
33 
73 
46 
55 
50 
50 
60 
44 



100 

57 

67 
75 
67 
WD 


WD 
63 

53 
54 
70 
58 





WD 


3 



WD 




WD 





















WD 



WD 


3 

3 
6 



Abbreviations %. percent. D. number. NR. number of fish killed not reported. WD.no data was received 



42 



Middle Atlantic 



Fish-Kill Events by County,1 980-1 989 



Killed 



% of events 
where # killed 



State/County 


Events 


(x100) 


was repc 


Middle Atlantic (Southern) 








Maryland 








2 


Anne Arundel 


182 


359,847 


66 


3 


Baltimore 


47 


14,340 


91 


4 


Calvert 


17 


27,715 


88 


5 


Caroline 


3 


11 


100 


6 


Carroll 


7 


30 


100 


7 


Cecil 


18 


231 


67 


8 


Charles 


14 


10.061 


86 


9 


Dorchester 


15 


18,852 


73 


10 


Harford 


21 


1,382 


76 


11 


Howard 


4 


6 


75 


12 


Kent 


7 


1,522 


71 


13 


Montgomery 


4 


7 


75 


14 


Prince George's 


9 


222 


67 


15 


Queen Anne's 


14 


111 


71 


16 


St. Mary's 


28 


23,727 


86 


17 


Somerset 


7 


39 


86 


18 


Talbot 


14 


17,674 


93 


19 


Wicomico 


13 


203,252 


85 


20 


Worcester 


1 


100 


100 


21 


Baltimore City 


23 


179 


65 


22 


District of Columbia 


7 


5,520 


71 




Subtotal 


455 


684,828 


75 


Virginia 








23 


Accomack 


2 


2 


50 


24 


Albemarle 


ND 


WD 


ND 


25 


Amelia 


ND 


WD 


ND 


26 


Appomattox 


1 


NR 





27 


Arlington 


3 


15 


100 


28 


Buckingham 


ND 


WD 


ND 


29 


Caroline 


2 


428 


100 


30 


Charles City 


1 


1 


100 


31 


Chesterfield 


5 


42 


100 


32 


Cumberland 


WD 


WD 


ND 


33 


Dinwiddie 


ND 


WD 


ND 


34 


Essex 


ND 


WD 


ND 


35 


Fairfax 


8 


48 


100 


36 


Fauquier 


2 


<1 


50 


37 


Fluvanna 


1 


<1 


100 


38 


Gloucester 


1 


1,000 


100 


39 


Goochland 


WD 


WD 


ND 


40 


Hanover 


WD 


WD 


ND 


41 


Henrico 


5 


24 


100 


42 


Isle of Wight 


WD 


WD 


ND 


43 


James City 


2 


60 


100 


44 


King and Oueen 


WD 


WD 


WD 



% of events # of events 

where cause where 1 million or 

of kill was reported more fish were killed 



82 

60 
76 
33 
71 
33 
36 
93 
90 
75 
57 
50 
33 
64 
82 
43 
86 
77 
100 
78 
71 
73 




WD 
WD 

67 
WD 

100 

60 
WD 
WD 
WD 
88 
50 

100 



WD 

WD 

100 
WD 

100 
WD 



8 

1 
1 




1 
1 







2 


1 

5 



20 





WD 

WD 





WD 







WD 

WD 

WD 









WD 

WO 



WD 



WD 



Abbreviations: Wfl, number of fish killed not reported, WD. no data was received. 



43 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1 980-1 989 









% of events 


% of events 


# of events 






Killed 


where # killed 


where cause 


where 1 million or 


State County 


Events 


(x100) 


was reported 


of kill was reported 


more fish were killed 



Middle Atlantic (Southern) 
Virginia (cont.) 

45 King George 

46 King William 

47 Lancaster 

48 Loudoun 

49 Louisa 

50 Mathews 

51 Middlesex 

52 New Kent 

53 Northampton 

54 Northumberland 

55 Nottoway 

56 Orange 

57 Powhatan 

58 Prince Edward 

59 Prince George 

60 Prince William 

61 Richmond 

62 Spotsylvania 

63 Stafford 

64 Surry 

65 Westmoreland 

66 York 

Virginia (Independent Cities) 

67 Alexandria 

68 Chesapeake 

69 Colonial Heights 

70 Fairfax 

71 Falls Church 

72 Fredericksburg 

73 Hampton 

74 Hopewell 

75 Manassas 

76 Manassas Park 

77 Newport News 

78 Norfolk 

79 Petersburg 

80 Poquoson 

81 Portsmouth 

82 Richmond 

' Southampton 

83 Suffolk 

84 Virginia Beach 

85 Williamsburg 

Subtotal 



WD 
ND 
3 
1 
1 
1 

2 

1 

ND 

4 

ND 

ND 

ND 

ND 

3 

4 

2 

ND 

2 

ND 

4 

3 



ND 

ND 

126.400 

2 

1 

4 
20 
<1 
ND 
11.052 
ND 
ND 
ND 
ND 
20 
46 
23 
ND 
1 
ND 
70 
10,015 



3 21 

Data found in the South Atlantic region. 

1 
WD 
WD 
WD 

2 

8 
WD 
WD 

2 

6 

2 

2 

5 

3 

Data found in the South Atlantic region 
Data found in the South Atlantic region 
Data found in the South Atlantic region 
ND ND 



98 



151,591 



WD 
WD 
67 
100 
100 
100 
50 
100 
WD 
100 
WD 
WD 
WD 
WD 
100 
100 
100 
WD 
100 
WD 
75 
100 

100 



,503 


100 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


22 


100 


201 


88 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


22 


100 


35 


100 


<1 


50 


503 


100 


8 


80 


NR 






WD 
88 



WD 

WD 



100 

100 







WD 

50 

WD 

WD 

WD 

WD 

67 

100 

50 

WD 

50 

WD 

25 

33 

33 

100 
WD 
WD 
WD 
50 
75 
WD 
WD 
50 
83 
50 
50 
80 
67 



WD 
61 



WD 

WD 

2 











WD 

1 

WD 

WD 

WD 

WD 







WD 



WD 



1 





WD 

WD 

WD 





WD 

WD 















WD 
4 



Middle AtlanticTotal 
National Total 



1.033 
3.654 



1,153,392 

4,071,630 



65 
84 



69 
79 



33 
86 



Abbreviations NR. number ol fish killed not reponed. WD. no data was received 
' Not shown on map 



44 



Middle Atlantic 



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45 



Appendix A 



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46 



Middle Atlantic 



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t- co m in t^ 

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« p <*" 5 



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r- CM CO 



in in co co co 



CO t- en 



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t-COC\JCOOOOOO> 



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2 



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47 



Appendix A 



<7> CD CO 



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p 






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48 



Appendix A - South Atlantic 




Coastal I 



50 



South Atlantic 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 









% of events 


% of events 


# of events 






Killed 


where # killed 


where cause 


where 1 million or 


State/County 


Events 


(X100) 


was reported 


of kill was reported 


more fish were killed 


Virgina 












1 Southampton 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


2 Chesapeake 


7 


130 


100 


57 





3 Suffolk 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


4 Virginia Beach 


24 


25,369 


96 


71 


1 


Subtotal 


31 


25,499 


97 


68 


1 


North Carolina 












5 Anson 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


6 Beaufort 


55 


103,930 


80 


76 


6 


7 Bertie 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


8 Bladen 


1 


2 


100 


100 





9 Brunswick 


1 


2 


100 








10 Camden 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


11 Carteret 


5 


38 


60 


20 





12 Chowan 


1 


1 


100 


100 





13 Columbus 


4 


8 


100 


100 





14 Craven 


15 


1,216 


60 


80 





15 Cumberland 


2 


40 


100 


100 





16 Currituck 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


17 Dare 


2 


30,001 


100 


100 


1 


18 Duplin 


4 


3 


75 


50 





19 Edgecombe 


3 


2 


100 








20 Gates 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


wo 


21 Greene 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


22 Halifax 


1 


15 


100 








23 Harnett 


2 


1 


50 


100 





24 Hertford 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


25 Hyde 


6 


60,058 


100 


50 


2 


26 Johnston 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


27 Jones 


1 


<1 


100 








28 Lenoir 


3 


31 


100 


67 





29 Martin 


1 


2 


100 








30 Nash 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


31 New Hanover 


6 


237 


100 


67 





32 Northampton 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


33 Onslow 


7 


606 


86 


86 





34 Pamlico 


8 


60,070 


75 


100 


2 


35 Pasquotank 


4 


23 


100 


25 





36 Pender 


1 


10 


100 


100 





37 Perquimans 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WO 


38 Pitt 


3 


22 


100 


100 





39 Richmond 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


40 Robeson 


3 


4 


100 


67 





41 Sampson 


6 


8 


100 


83 





42 Scotland 


1 


<1 


100 








43 Tyrrell 


1 


WR 











44 Union 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


wo 


* Wake 


WD 


WO 


WD 


WD 


WD 


45 Washington 


4 


37 


75 


75 





Abbreviations: %, percent. 
' Not shown on map. 


#, number; WR. number of tish killed not reported; 


WD. no data was received 







51 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 









% of events 


% of events 


# of events 






Killed 


where # killed 


where cause 


where 1 million or 


State County 


Events 


(x100) 


was reported 


of kill was reported 


more fish were killed 



North Carolina (cont .) 

46 Wayne 

47 Wilson 
Subtotal 

South Carolina 

48 Allendale 

49 Bamberg 

50 Beaufort 

51 Berkeley 

52 Charleston 

53 Chesterfield 

54 Clarendon 

55 Colleton 

56 Darlington 

57 Dillon 

58 Dorchester 

59 Florence 

60 Georgetown 

61 Hampton 

62 Horry 

63 Jasper 

64 Kershaw 

65 Lancaster 

66 Lee 

67 Marion 

68 Marlboro 

69 Orangeburg 

70 Sumter 

71 Williamsburg 
Subtotal 

Georgia 

72 Appling 

73 Atkinson 

74 Bacon 

75 Ben Hill 

76 Brantley 

77 Bryan 

* Brooks 

78 Bulloch 

79 Camden 

80 Charlton 

81 Chatham 

82 Clinch 

83 Coffee 

" Decatur 

84 Effingham 



1 


30 





1 


NR 





153 


256,397 


82 


WD 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


73 


343 


96 


11 


72 


91 


53 


332 


83 


2 


<1 


50 


ND 


ND 


ND 


5 


165 


80 


7 


35 


100 


1 


2 


100 


9 


24 


89 


8 


192 


88 


1 


100 


100 


1 


12 


100 


9 


68 


100 


2 


21 


100 


WD 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


3 


12 


100 


2 


11 


100 


1 


<1 


100 


3 


1 


67 


ND 


ND 


ND 


191 


1,393 


91 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


2 


14 


100 


ND 


ND 


ND 


1 


1 


100 


ND 


ND 


ND 


n the Gull ol Mexico Region 




1 


1 


100 


2 


16 


100 


ND 


ND 


ND 


15 


26,949 


100 


ND 


ND 


ND 


2 


4 


100 



Data found in the Gull ol Mexico Region 
ND ND 



ND 



100 

100 

71 



ND 

ND 

70 

64 

83 



ND 

100 

57 

100 

67 

88 

100 

100 

78 

50 

ND 

ND 

ND 

33 

50 



33 

ND 

72 



ND 

ND 

ND 
100 
ND 

100 

ND 

ND 
100 

ND 







11 



ND 

ND 









WD 



















WD 

WD 

WD 









WD 





WD 

WD 


WD 


WD 




WD 

1 
WD 



WD 



Abbreviations %. percent. #, number. WR number ol fish killed not reported.WD.no data was received. 
" Not shown on map 



52 



South Atlantic 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 









% of events 


% of events 


# of events 






Killed 


where # killed 


where cause 


where 1 million or 


State/County 


Events 


(X100) 


was reported 


of kill was reported 


more fish were killed 


Georgia (cont.) 












85 Emanuel 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


* Evans 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


86 Glynn 


3 


82 


100 








* Grady 


Data found in the Gull ol Mexico Region. 








87 Irwin 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


88 Jeff Davis 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


89 Jenkins 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


90 Liberty 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


91 Long 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


92 Mcintosh 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


93 Montgomery 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


94 Pierce 


1 


43 


100 








95 Screven 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


96 Tattnall 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


* Thomas 


Data found in the Gulf of Mexico Region. 








97 Toombs 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


98 Ware 


5 


7 


100 


100 





99 Wayne 


1 


73 


100 








Subtotal 


33 


27,192 


100 


100 


1 


Florida 












100 Alachua 


1 


<1 


100 


100 





101 Baker 


2 


2 


100 


100 





102 Bradford 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


103 Brevard 


39 


7,365 


100 


85 





104 Broward 


277 


1,288 


100 


93 





105 Clay 


8 


41 


100 


75 





106 Columbia 


Data found in the Gull of Mexico Region. 








107 Dade 


87 


364 


100 


80 





108 Duval 


56 


15,273 


82 


70 


1 


109 Flagler 


1 


30 


100 


100 





110 Hendry 


Dafa found in the Gulf of Mexico Region. 








111 Indian River 


14 


58 


100 


79 





112 Lake 


10 


966 


100 


70 





113 Marion 


14 


167,850 


93 


50 


4 


114 Martin 


24 


90 


96 


92 





115 Monroe 


Data found in the Gulf of Mexico Region. 








116 Nassau 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


117 Okeechobee 


9 


200 


100 


100 





118 Orange 


18 


360,234 


89 


72 


2 


119 Osceola 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


120 Palm Beach 


383 


1,748 


100 


96 





121 Putnam 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


122 St. Johns 


6 


4,800 


100 


100 





123 St. Lucie 


61 


290 


100 


90 





124 Seminole 


12 


79,614 


100 


58 


1 


125 Union 


2 


1 


50 


100 





126 Volusia 


18 


2.220 


94 


83 





Subtotal 


1,042 


642,432 


98 


89 


8 


Total 


1,450 


952,913 


96 


84 


21 


National Total 


3,654 


4,071,630 


84 


79 


86 


Abbreviations: %, percent 


#, number; Wfl. number ot fish killed not reported. WD. 


no data was received. 







' Not shown on map. 



53 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by Year, 1980-1989 



Year 



Virginia 



North 
Carolina 



South 
Carolina 



Georgia 



Florida 



Total 



1980 
1981 
1982 
1983 
1984 
1985 
1986 
1987 
1988 
1989 
Total 



7 


20.235 


6 


22 


29 


271 


4 


122 


11 


96 


57 


20,745 


10 


5.109 


19 


100.130 


22 


124 


3 


75 


79 


442,039 


133 


547,478 


2 


14 


25 


1,218 


23 


153 








51 


6,132 


101 


7,517 


4 


7 


11 


30.538 


15 


360 


7 


21 


81 


2.666 


118 


33,592 


1 


5 


14 


390 


16 


38 








68 


5,200 


99 


5,634 








26 


113.492 


24 


73 


7 


208 


94 


168.378 


151 


282,151 


2 


120 


10 


98 


34 


270 


5 


574 


192 


885 


243 


1,948 


4 


6 


21 


10.170 


16 


70 


2 


5 


120 


510 


163 


10,760 


1 


3 


15 


207 


12 


33 


2 


2 


137 


15.501 


167 


15,746 








6 


132 








3 


26,186 


209 


1,024 


218 


27,342 


31 


25,499 


153 


256,397 


191 


1,393 


33 


27,192 


1,042 


642,432 


1,450 


952,913 



Fish-Kill Events by Direct Cause, 1980-1989 





v 


irginia ' 


1 


slorth 


South 


Georgia a 


Florida a 


Total 








Carolina 


Carolina 














Direct Cause 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Low D. O. 


8 


360 


38 


61.203 


60 


726 


5 


69 


728 


159.783 


839 


222,141 


Temperature 


4 


20.008 


4 


60.013 


11 


77 


1 


26.106 


19 


1,172 


39 


107,376 


Sedimentation 


1 


<1 








2 


1 














3 


1 


Eutrophication 


3 


14 


12 


40.196 


15 


135 








99 


533 


129 


40,878 


Disease 








8 


131 




















8 


131 


Stranding 


1 


1 


2 


10 


2 


25 


3 


12 


7 


2,543 


15 


2,591 


Storm Event 








1 


200 


1 


1 


3 


519 


9 


2,726 


14 


3,446 


Wastewater 








3 


5 


8 


26 


6 


163 


17 


13,718 


34 


13,912 


Animal Waste 


1 


12 


4 


42 








2 


45 


1 


10 


8 


109 


PH 


























1 


2 


1 


2 


Organic Chemicals 














1 


10 


2 


81 


1 


200 


4 


291 


Inorganic Chemicals Metals 








2 


3 














1 


6 


3 


9 


Mixed Chemicals 








1 


20 


2 


8 


2 


6 


7 


300.015 


12 


300,049 


Pesticides 








9 


47 


29 


216 








18 


15,224 


56 


15,488 


Nutrient 














1 


3 








15 


61.383 


16 


61,386 


Salinity Changes 


2 


5 


22 


94.286 


3 


31 








4 


81 


31 


94,403 


Petroleum 








2 


<1 


2 


2 


3 


82 


1 


<1 


8 


85 


Chlorine 














1 


<1 














1 


<1 


Red Tide 


1 


3 




















1 


<1 


2 


3 


Predation 






































Unspecified 


10 


5.096 


45 


241 


53 


133 


6 


109 


113 


85,037 


227 


90,615 


Total 


31 


25,499 


153 


256,397 


191 


1,393 


33 


27,192 


1,042 


642,432 


1,450 


952,913 



Abbreviations e number ol events;*, number of fish killed in hundreds ot fish; NR. number of fish killed not reported; Low DO. 
a Not all counties in state included; state is split between regions 



low-dissolved oxygen. 



54 



South Atlantic 



Fish-Kill Events by Land-Use Cause, 1980-1989 





Virginia '' 




North 


South 


Georgia 


Florida ' 


Total 








Carolina 


Carolina 














Land-Use Cause 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Agriculture 


2 


32 


10 


83 


2 


20 


5 


122 


26 


11,787 


45 


12,044 


Industrial 








4 


5 


2 


171 


2 


81 


19 


15.051 


27 


15.308 


Urban 


1 


<1 


1 


3 


12 


59 


11 


689 


158 


362,108 


183 


362.860 


Impoundment 


4 


20,014 


21 


30,666 


3 


25 


1 


1 


15 


2,563 


44 


53.269 


Water-Related 


8 


47 


42 


144,828 








3 


26,114 


21 


2,035 


74 


173.025 


Silviculture 








1 


20 




















1 


20 


Wildland 






































Mining 






































Military 






































Unspecified 


16 


5,406 


74 


80,792 


172 


1,117 


11 


185 


803 


248,887 


1,076 


336,387 


Total 


31 


25,499 


153 


256,397 


191 


1,393 


33 


27,192 


1,042 


642,432 


1,450 


952,913 



Fish-Kill Events by Incident, 1980-1989 







Virginia 3 


North 
Carolina 


South 
Carolina 


Georgia a 


Florida a 




Total 


Incident 




e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Runoff 




1 


<1 


6 


55 


3 


23 


3 


519 


151 


375,989 


164 


376,586 


Routine Release 








1 


1 


1 


21 


6 


66 


19 


9,006 


27 


9,094 


Accidental Release 








5 


16 


3 


180 


2 


93 


8 


33 


18 


322 


Spill 










4 


3 


7 


7 


2 


82 


3 


8 


16 


100 


Spraying 










2 


2 


3 


28 








3 


51 


8 


81 


Natural 




12 


20,061 


65 


195,517 


3 


1 


3 


26.114 


32 


3,751 


115 


245,445 


Drawdown 










1 


<1 


2 


25 


1 


3 


3 


2,540 


7 


2,569 


Dredging or 


Drilling 


























1 


<1 


1 


<1 


Unspecified 




18 


5,438 


69 


60,802 


169 


1,107 


16 


314 


822 


251.054 


1,094 


318.715 


Total 




31 


25,499 


153 


256,397 


191 


1,393 


33 


27,192 


1,042 


642,432 


1,450 


952,913 



Abbreviations: e, number of events; k, number of fish killed in hundreds of fish; NR. number of fish killed not reported, 
a. Not all counties in state included; state is split between regions. 



55 



Appendix A - Gulf of Mexico 




[ri] Coastal County Number 



56 



Gulf of Mexico 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 



State/County 


Events 


(X100) 


was repo 


Gulf of Mexico (Easfern) 








Florida 










1 


Bay 


10 


2,031 


90 


2 


Calhoun 


ND 


WD 


ND 


3 


Charlotte 


9 


10 


89 


* 


Cirtus 


2 


75 


100 


4 


Collier 


49 


299 


100 


5 


Columbia 


1 


15 


100 


6 


Dade 


Data found in 


the South Atlantic Region. 




7 


De Soto 


1 


30 


100 


8 


Dixie 


ND 


ND 


ND 


9 


Escambia 


26 


5,513 


85 


10 


Franklin 


2 


20,001 


100 


11 


Gadsden 


2 


30,000 


100 


12 


Gilchrist 


ND 


ND 


ND 


13 


Glades 


2 


6 


100 


14 


Gulf 


4 


411 


100 


* 


Hamilton 


4 


5 


75 


15 


Hardee 


1 


3 


100 


16 


Hendry 


8 


61 


100 


* 


Hernando 


1 


3 


100 


17 


Highlands 


5 


893 


100 


18 


Hillsborough 


12 


76 


100 


19 


Holmes 


1 





100 


20 


Jackson 


3 


31 


67 


21 


Jefferson 


ND 


ND 


ND 


22 


Lafayette 


ND 


ND 


ND 


23 


Lee 


12 


15 


92 


24 


Leon 


ND 


ND 


ND 


25 


Levy 


1 


27 


100 


26 


Liberty 


1 





100 


27 


Madison 


1 


3 


100 


28 


Manatee 


2 


2 


100 


29 


Monroe 


7 


374 


86 


30 


Okaloosa 


5 


1,411 


80 


31 


Pasco 


12 


134 


100 


32 


Pinellas 


12 


231 


100 


33 


Polk 


19 


2,124 


89 


34 


Santa Rosa 


17 


66,110 


82 


35 


Sarasota 


6 


58 


83 


* 


Sumter 


2 


9 


100 


36 


Suwannee 


ND 


ND 


ND 


37 


Taylor 


2 


3 


100 


38 


Wakulla 


ND 


ND 


ND 


39 


Walton 


6 


110 


100 


40 


Washington 


2 


4 


100 




Subtotal 


250 


130,079 


93 



% of events 


% of events 


# of events 


where # killed 


where cause of 


where 1 million or 


was reported 


kill was reported 


more fish were killed 



80 

ND 

100 

50 

92 

100 

100 
ND 
85 

100 



ND 

100 
75 
75 

100 
88 

100 

100 

75 



100 
ND 
ND 

100 
ND 

100 



100 

100 
80 

100 
92 
89 
94 
67 

100 
ND 

100 
ND 
67 

100 
88 




ND 







ND 

1 
1 

WD 











WD 

WD 


WD 









2 



WD 


ND 


4 



Abbreviations: %, percent; #, number; NR, number of fish killed not reported; WD. no data was received. 
* Not shown on map. 



57 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 











% of events 


% of events 


# of events 








Killed 


where # killed 


where cause of 


where 1 million or 


State County 


Events 


(x100) 


was reported 


kill was reported 


more fish were killed 


Gulf of Mexico (Eastern) 












Georgia 














41 


Brooks 


WD 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


42 


Decatur 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


43 


Grady 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


44 


Thomas 


2 


14 


100 


50 







Subtotal 


2 


14 


100 


50 





Alabama 












45 


Baldwin 


12 


91.429 


83 


100 


2 


a 6 


Choctaw 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


47 


Clarke 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


48 


Coffee 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


49 


Conecuh 


ND 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


50 


Covington 


1 





100 


100 





51 


Crenshaw 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


52 


Escambia 


ND 


ND 


WD 


ND 


WD 


53 


Geneva 


ND 


ND 


WD 


ND 


WD 


54 


Houston 


ND 


ND 


WD 


ND 


WD 


55 


Mobile 


30 


40.537 


93 


87 


2 


56 


Monroe 


ND 


ND 


WD 


ND 


WD 


57 


Washington 


1 


1 


100 


100 





58 


Wilcox 


WD 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 




Subtotal 


44 


131,967 


91 


91 


4 


Mississippi 












59 


Amite 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


60 


Franklin 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


61 


George 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


62 


Greene 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


63 


Hancock 


2 


55 


100 


100 





64 


Harrison 


2 


4 


50 


100 





65 


Jackson 


2 


20,002 


100 


50 


1 


66 


Lamar 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


67 


Lincoln 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


68 


Marion 


1 


20 


100 


100 





69 


Pearl River 


WD 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


70 


Perry 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


7' 


Pike 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WO 


72 


Stone 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


73 


Walthall 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


74 


Wayne 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


75 


Wilkinson 


ND 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 




Subtotal 


7 


20,081 


86 


86 


1 



Abbreviations %. percent: #. number; WR. number of fish killed not reported; WO. no data was received. 



58 



Gulf of Mexico 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 

















% of events 


% of events 


# of events 








Killed 


where # killed 


where cause of 


where 1 million or 


State/County 


Events 


(x100) 


was reported 


kill was reported 


more fish were killed 


Gulf of Mexico (Western) 












Louisiana 












* 


Acadia 


5 


961 


80 


80 





1 


Allen 


ND 


WD 


WD 


ND 


ND 


2 


Ascension 


5 


12 


80 


80 





3 


Assumption 


9 


547 


89 


89 





4 


Avoyelles 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


ND 


5 


Beauregard 


ND 


ND 


WD 


ND 


ND 


6 


Calcasieu 


5 


33 


60 


80 





7 


Cameron 


3 


3 


33 


100 





8 


East Baton Rouge 


17 


144 


82 


71 





9 


East Feliciana 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


ND 


10 


Evangeline 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


ND 


11 


Iberia 


8 


73 


38 


100 





12 


Iberville 


14 


222 


79 


71 





13 


Jefferson 


7 


13 


43 


71 





* 


Jefferson Davis 


2 


NR 





100 





14 


Lafayette 


4 


970 


50 


75 





15 


Lafourche 


13 


56 


54 


100 





16 


Livingston 


1 


6 


100 


100 





17 


Orleans 


9 


14 


44 


78 





18 


Plaquemines 


5 


873 


80 


100 





19 


Point Coupee 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


20 


Rapides 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


21 


Sabine 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


ND 


22 


St. Bernard 


6 


4 


33 


83 





23 


St. Charles 


7 


115 


29 


86 





24 


St. Helena 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


ND 


25 


St. James 


5 


24 


80 


100 





26 


St. John the Baptist 


1 


NR 





100 





27 


St. Landry 


1 


4 


100 


100 





28 


St. Martin 


1 


Wfl 





100 





29 


St. Mary 


4 


778 


75 


100 





30 


St. Tammany 


13 


109 


69 


85 





31 


Tangipahoa 


6 


7 


67 


83 





32 


Terrebonne 


14 


1,144 


43 


93 





33 


Vermilion 


2 


10 


50 


50 





34 


Vernon 


ND 


WD 


WD 


ND 


ND 


35 


Washington 


ND 


WD 


WD 


ND 


ND 


36 


West Baton Rouge 


3 


9 


100 


67 





37 


West Feliciana 


2 


460 


50 


100 







Subtotal 


172 


6,590 


61 


85 






Abbreviations: %, percent; #, number; NR. number of fish killed not reported ,ND. no data was received. 
* Not shown on map. 



59 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 











% of events 


% of events 


# of events 








Killed 


where # killed 


where cause of 


where 1 million or 


State County 


Events 


(x100) 


was reported 


kill was reported 


more fish were killed 


Gulf o* Mexico (Western) 












Texas 














38 


Angelina 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


39 


Aransas 


10 


6,297 


30 


70 





40 


Austin 


2 


5 


100 


100 





41 


Bee 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


42 


Brazoria 


36 


15.569 


69 


81 


1 


43 


Brooks 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


44 


Calhoun 


11 


225 


45 


82 





45 


Cameron 


8 


13.785 


63 


88 


1 


46 


Chambers 


20 


160,321 


90 


90 


5 


47 


Colorado 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


48 


De Witt 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


49 


Duval 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


50 


Fayette 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


51 


Fort Bend 


19 


5.928 


68 


58 





52 


Galveston 


72 


1.059,707 


81 


90 


8 


53 


Goliad 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


54 


Gonzales 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


55 


Hardin 


1 


NR 











56 


Harris 


66 


231,757 


59 


80 


3 


57 


Hidalgo 


1 


1 


100 


100 





58 


Jackson 


1 





100 


100 





5? 


Jasper 


3 


245 


100 


100 





60 


Jefferson 


20 


1,821 


75 


80 





61 


Jim Hogg 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


62 


Jim Wells 


1 


NR 











63 


Karnes 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


64 


Kenedy 


1 


40 


100 








65 


Kleberg 


4 





25 


100 





66 


Lavaca 


3 


20 


67 


67 





67 


Liberty 


6 


27 


33 


83 





68 


Live Oak 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


69 


McMullen 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


70 


Matagorda 


24 


5.969 


54 


88 





71 


Newton 


4 


NR 





75 





72 


Nueces 


15 


49.484 


60 


80 


2 


73 


Orange 


14 


8.415 


79 


79 





74 


Refugio 


3 


5 


67 


67 





75 


San Jacinto 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


76 


San Patricio 


5 


33,260 


60 


100 


1 


77 


Starr 


1 


1 


100 


100 





78 


Tyler 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


79 


Victoria 


1 


NR 











80 


Waller 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


81 


Washington 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


82 


Webb 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


83 


Wharton 


3 


NR 





100 





84 


Willacy 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 




Subtotal 


355 


1,592,880 


66 


81 


21 


Total 




830 


1,881,610 


75 


84 


30 


National Total 


3.654 


4,071,630 


84 


79 


86 



Abbreviations %. percent. #. number: Wfl, number ot fish killed not repoded.WD.no data was received 



60 



Gulf of Mexico 



Fish-Kill Events by Year, 1980-1989 





Florida 3 


Georgia 3 


Alabama 


Mississippi 


Lou 


siana 




Texas 




Total 


Year 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


1980 


25 


56 








7 


194 








2 


158 


58 


1 ,095,440 


92 


1,095,848 


1981 


32 


59,704 








1 





1 


2 


10 


76 


52 


56,061 


96 


115,843 


1982 


24 


3,662 








2 


10 








5 


4 


66 


78.534 


97 


82,209 


1983 


24 


30,782 


1 


3 


3 


1 








17 


220 


52 


74,994 


97 


106,000 


1984 


26 


22,911 








12 


118,753 








22 


412 


22 


235,828 


82 


377,904 


1985 


26 


1,350 








3 


3 


1 


20 


22 


978 








52 


2,352 


1986 


30 


10,938 








3 


70 


2 


55 


38 


3,323 


9 


1 


82 


14,387 


1987 


16 


115 








10 


12,934 


1 


4 


16 


487 


15 


6 


58 


13,546 


1988 


21 


317 








2 


2 


1 





17 


115 


53 


48,687 


94 


49,121 


1989 


26 


243 


1 


11 


1 


2 


1 


20,000 


23 


817 


28 


3,328 


80 


24,401 


Total 


250 


130,079 


2 


14 


44 


131,967 


7 


20,081 


172 


6,590 


355 


1,592,880 


830 


1,881,610 



Fish-Kill Events by Direct Cause, 1980-1989 





Florida a 


Georgia 3 


Alabama 


Mississippi 


Louisiana 


Texas 


Total 


Direct Cause 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 




e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Low D. O. 


116 


29,947 








23 


131,901 








63 


1,577 


119 


1,173.795 


321 


1,337,220 


Temperature 


17 


421 
















1 


20,000 


5 


753 


18 


39.617 


41 


60.791 


Sedimentation 




























6 


359 


5 


20 


11 


379 


Eutrophication 


15 


51,206 








1 




2 








4 


5 


6 


13.015 


26 


64,228 


Disease 


4 


19 








1 




<1 








2 


<1 


8 


20 


15 


39 


Stranding 


6 


134 






















5 


3 


5 


5,169 


16 


5,306 


Storm Event 


7 


164 
















1 


20 


17 


1,009 


23 


43,375 


48 


44,569 


Wastewater 


11 


1,255 


1 


3 


10 




44 








21 


1,058 


29 


224,624 


72 


226.984 


Animal Waste 


3 


815 






















3 


7 


1 


1.000 


7 


1,822 


PH 




























2 


3 


2 


<1 


4 


3 


Organic Chemicals 


2 


2 








1 




4 








3 


88 


1 


NR 


7 


94 


Inorganic Chemicals/Metals 


4 


84 








1 




NR 








3 


577 


18 


51.713 


26 


52,375 


Mixed Chemicals 


10 


1 1 ,647 








3 




12 








5 


4 


6 


6.598 


24 


18,261 


Pesticides 


10 


379 
















1 


NR 


2 


NR 


13 


3.765 


26 


4,143 


Nutrients 


12 


1,557 






















2 


5 


5 


404 


19 


1.966 


Salinity Changes 






















3 


59 


1 


NR 


2 


13 


6 


72 


Petroleum 


1 


50 






















2 


NR 


20 


28.594 


23 


28,644 


Chlorine 


































2 


75 


2 


75 


Red Tide 


1 


1,909 




























8 


<1 


9 


1,909 


Predation 














































Unspecified 


31 


30,489 


1 


11 


4 




3 


1 


2 


26 


1,142 


64 


1.083 


127 


32,730 


Total 


250 


130,079 


2 


14 


44 


131,967 


7 


20,081 


172 


6,590 


355 


1,592,880 


830 


1,881.610 


Abbreviations: e number of events; k, number of fish killed in 


hundreds of fish; NF 


I number of fish killed not 


reported 


Low D O 


. low-dissolved oxygen 







a. Not all counties in state included; state is split between regions. 



61 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by Land-Use Cause, 1980-1989 





Florida 


Geo 


rgia ' 


Alabama 


Mississippi 


Lou 


isiana 




Texas 




Total 


Land-Use Cause 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


ft 


Agriculture 


6 


95 




















7 


43 


11 


4,893 


24 


5,031 


Industrial 


12 


61.000 


1 


11 


1 


10 








29 


2,179 


54 


12,332 


97 


75,532 


Urban 


56 


3.153 


1 


3 


10 


42 








21 


85 


58 


273,098 


146 


276,381 


Impoundment 


16 


1.457 








4 


134 








36 


1,073 


13 


31,260 


69 


33,923 


Water- Related 


18 


2.215 








1 


68 


5 


20,079 


14 


927 


67 


594,179 


105 


617,468 


Silviculture 












































Wildland 












































Mining 


1 


4 




















1 


NR 


5 


2 


7 


6 


Military 












































Unspecified 


141 


62.154 








28 


131.713 


2 


2 


64 


2,283 


147 


677,116 


382 


873,268 


Total 


250 


130,079 


2 


14 


44 


131,967 


7 


20,081 


172 


6,590 


355 


1,592,880 


830 


1,881,610 



Fish-Kill Events by Incident, 1980-1989 





Florida ' 


Georgia 1 


Alabama 


Mississippi 


Louisiana 




Texas 




Total 


Incident 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Runoff 


48 


279 








1 


NR 








8 


57 


23 


21,348 


80 


21,685 


Routine Release 


6 


10.056 








3 


11 








23 


1,945 


26 


798 


58 


12,809 


Accidental Release 


6 


207 


1 


3 


3 


24 








16 


138 


23 


3,660 


49 


4,032 


Spill 


7 


1.826 














1 


NR 


2 


460 


32 


1,835 


42 


4,121 


Spraying 


5 


118' 




















1 


NR 


4 


3,760 


10 


3,878 


Natural 


26 


2,570 








6 


204 


5 


20,079 


43 


1,251 


71 


615,259 


151 


639,364 


Drawdown 


1 


1 




















4 


6 


2 


190 


7 


197 


Dredging or Drilling 


i 


1,000 




















6 


358 


10 


10 


17 


1,368 


Unspecified 


150 


114,022 


1 


11 


31 


131,729 


1 


2 


69 


2,376 


164 


946,018 


416 


1,194,158 


Total 


250 


130,079 


2 


14 


44 


131,967 


7 


20,081 


172 


6,590 


355 


1,592,880 


830 


1,881,610 



Abbreviations e number of events;*, number of fish killed in hundreds of fish, NR, number of fish killed not reported, 
a Not all counties in state included; state is split between regions. 



62 



Appendix A - pacific 




11 Coastal County Number 



64 



Pacific 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 











% of events 


% of events 


# of events 








Killed 


where # killed 


where cause of 


where 1 million or 


State/County 


Events 


(X100) 


was reported 


kill was reported 


more fish were killed 


California 












1 


Alameda 


6 


516 


100 


83 





2 


Contra Costa 


6 


65 


100 


67 





3 


Del Norte 


WD 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


4 


Humboldt 


1 


<1 


100 


100 





5 


Los Angeles 


12 


5,739 


100 


83 





6 


Marin 


11 


25 


100 


82 





7 


Mendocino 


2 


1 


100 


100 





8 


Monterey 


9 


200 


100 


56 





9 


Napa 


1 


1 


100 


100 





10 


Orange 


5 


66 


80 


60 





11 


Placer 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WO 


WD 


12 


Sacramento 


7 


28 


86 


43 





13 


San Benito 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


14 


San Bernardino 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


15 


San Diego 


2 


14 


100 


100 





16 


San Francisco 


1 


500 


100 


100 





17 


San Joaquin 


27 


396 


100 


78 





18 


San Luis Obispo 


13 


160 


100 


85 





19 


San Mateo 


17 


280 


94 


65 





* 


Santa Barbara 


5 


363 


80 


60 





20 


Santa Clara 


6 


15 


100 


83 





21 


Santa Cruz 


5 


525 


100 


80 





22 


Siskiyou 


1 


101 


100 


100 





23 


Solano 


3 


3 


100 








24 


Sonoma 


5 


107 


100 


100 





25 


Sutter 


1 


1 


100 


100 





26 


Trinity 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


27 


Ventura 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


28 


Yolo 


2 


162 


100 


100 







Subtotal 


148 


9,267 


97 


74 





Oregon 














29 


Benton 


WD 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


30 


Clackamas 


6 


165 


67 


67 





31 


Clatsop 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


32 


Columbia 


8 


13 


75 


88 





33 


Coos 


2 


45 


50 


100 





34 


Curry 


1 


5 


100 








35 


Douglas 


3 


283 


100 


67 





36 


Jackson 


WD 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


37 


Josephine 


1 


123 


100 


100 





38 


Lane 


5 


37 


100 


60 





39 


Lincoln 


4 


16 


100 


100 





40 


Multnomah 


9 


186 


89 


56 





41 


Polk 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


42 


Tillamook 


1 


2 


100 


100 





43 


Washington 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 


44 


Yamhill 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 




Subtotal 


40 


874 


90 


73 






Abbreviations: NR. number of fish killed not reported; WD, no data was received. 
' Not shown on map. 



65 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by County, 1980-1989 











% of events 


% of events 


# of events 








Killed 


where # killed 


where cause of 


where 1 million or 


State County 


Events 


(x100) 


was reported 


kill was reported 


more fish were killed 


Washington 












45 


Clallam 


3 


4 


100 


67 





46 


Clark 


4 


16 


50 


75 





47 


Cowlitz 


2 


NR 





100 





48 


Grays Harbor 


2 


525 


100 


100 





49 


Island 


2 


25.700 


50 


100 


1 


50 


Jefferson 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


51 


King 


39 


1,037 


79 


56 





52 


Kitsap 


1 


2 


100 








53 


Lewis 


1 


99 


100 


100 





54 


Mason 


2 


3 


100 








55 


Pacific 


ND 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


56 


Pierce 


9 


212 


89 


100 





57 


Skagit 


3 


20 


33 


100 





58 


Skamania 


WD 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


59 


Snohomish 


16 


859 


75 


81 





60 


Thurston 


5 


3,554 


80 


100 





61 


Wahkiakum 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 




Whatcom 


16 


640 


75 


75 





62 


Yakima 


ND 


WD 


WD 


WD 


WD 




Subtotal 


105 


32,670 


76 


72 


1 


Total 




293 


42,81 1 


88 


73 


1 


Nationa 


I Total 


3,654 


4,071,630 


84 


79 


86 



Abbreviations: NR. number of fish killed not reported, WD, no data was received. 
* Not shown on map 



66 



Pacific 



Fish-Kill Events by Year, 1980-1989 



Year 



California 



Oregon 
e k 



Washington 
e k 



Total 



1980 
1981 
1982 
1983 
1984 
1985 
1986 
1987 
1988 
1989 
Total 



23 


713 


13 


195 


7 


519 


43 


1,427 


31 


522 


8 


102 


10 


29,856 


49 


30.480 


24 


6,258 


5 


59 


8 


129 


37 


6.445 


13 


105 








6 


424 


19 


529 


12 


315 


7 


2 


9 


178 


28 


496 


19 


506 


2 


124 


6 


372 


27 


1,002 


5 


13 


5 


392 


12 


462 


22 


867 


10 


711 








28 


706 


38 


1.417 


9 


124 








9 


13 


18 


136 


2 


<1 








10 


12 


12 


12 


148 


9,267 


40 


874 


105 


32,670 


293 


42,811 



Fish-Kill Events by Direct Cause, 1980-1989 





California 


f 


Dregon 


Washington 




Total 


Direct Cause 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Low D. O. 


25 


949 


1 


NR 


7 


25,986 


33 


26,935 


Temperature 


6 


80 


2 


2 








8 


82 


Sedimentation 


1 


150 














1 


150 


Eutrophication 


1 


<1 


1 


2 


1 


1 


3 


3 


Disease 


5 


90 








2 


<1 


7 


90 


Stranding 


6 


439 


3 


400 


3 


262 


12 


1.101 


Storm Event 


1 


51 














1 


51 


Wastewater 


8 


676 








6 


952 


14 


1.628 


Animal Waste 


5 


50 








21 


853 


26 


903 


PH 














3 


30 


3 


30 


Organic Chemicals 


5 


84 


3 


19 


1 


1 


9 


103 


Inorganic Chemicals/Metals 


7 


313 


6 


195 


3 


3,160 


16 


3.668 


Mixed Chemicals 


4 


108 


4 


176 


5 


104 


13 


388 


Pesticides 


17 


279 


3 


7 


7 


555 


27 


841 


Nutrients 


1 


5 














1 


5 


Salinity Changes 


2 


149 














2 


149 


Petroleum 


5 


47 


3 


<1 


7 


98 


15 


145 


Chlorine 


11 


5.247 


3 


48 


10 


458 


24 


5,753 


Red Tide 


























Predation 


























Unspecified 


38 


550 


11 


26 


29 


210 


78 


786 


Total 


148 


9,267 


40 


874 


105 


32,670 


293 


42.811 



Abbreviations: e number of events; k, number of fish killed in hundreds of fish; NR. number of fish killed not reported; Low DO. low-dissolved oxygen. 



t?~ 



Appendix A 



Fish-Kill Events by Land-Use Cause, 1980-1989 





California 


Oregon 




Wash 


ington 




Total 


Land-Use Cause 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Agriculture 


10 


226 


5 


52 


26 


1,026 


41 


1,304 


Industrial 


5 


5.058 


13 


719 


8 


567 


26 


6,344 


Urban 


10 


972 


2 


13 


19 


1.344 


31 


2,329 


Impoundment 


13 


510 


3 


5 


8 


3.688 


24 


4,203 


Water-Related 


5 


69 


1 


10 


8 


25,723 


14 


25,801 


Silviculture 


1 


101 














1 


101 


Wildland 


























Mining 


























Military 


























Unspecified 


104 


2.332 


16 


75 


36 


323 


156 


2,730 


Total 


148 


9,267 


40 


874 


105 


32,670 


293 


42,811 



Fish-Kill Events by Incident, 1980-1989 





California 


Oregon 


Wash 


ington 




Total 


Incident 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


e 


k 


Runoff 


3 


33 








4 


487 


7 


519 


Routine Release 


4 


5.600 


5 


51 


17 


1,182 


26 


6,834 


Accidental Release 


3 


76 


3 


12 


7 


128 


13 


217 


Spill 


10 


97 


8 


17 


10 


729 


28 


843 


Spraying 


1 


101 








6 


206 


7 


306 


Natural 


12 


134 


3 


12 


9 


28,844 


24 


28,990 


Drawdown 


3 


432 


1 


110 


3 


545 


7 


1,086 


Dredging or Drilling 


2 


158 














2 


158 


Unspecified 


110 


2.637 


20 


671 


49 


551 


179 


3,859 


Total 


148 


9,267 


40 


874 


105 


32,670 


293 


42,811 



Abbreviations: e number of events; k, number of fish killed in hundreds of fish; NR, number of fish killed not reported. 



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