- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2007


A fish kill of some proportion has occurred in the tidal Potomac River, a short distance downstream of the Route 301 Bridge in Charles County.

Ed Merrifield, director of Potomac Riverkeeper, said thousands of dead juvenile white perch and some striped bass have washed up on a sandy hook in the river known as Swan Point.

“I don’t know what caused the kill,” Merrifield said. “It could have been any number of culprits.”

Among the possible causes of such a kill is a waste treatment plant at nearby Cuckold Creek, a shaking-out of pound nets because the tiny perch can’t be marketed, or a sudden shock of cold water when the Morgantown Power Plant shuts down its warm water discharge. Referred to as thermal pollution, the sudden temperature change could distress and kill small fish that had found a comfort zone.

Merrifield said the Maryland Department of the Environment has been notified, but it could not say when an investigator would arrive at the scene.

Gene Mueller

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