Report a Fish Kill
Helpful observations and information to report when you call include:
- Your name,
- Telephone number,
- Location of the kill (county, name of waterbody, nearest landmark, GIS coordinates, etc),
- Approximate time of day first observed,
- Behavior and appearance of fish (gulping for air at surface, swimming erratically or lesions present),
- Any unusual coloration of the water,
- Any unusual small or odor, and
- Other observations.
The SCDNR contact line will collect your information and a Fisheries Biologist will return your call to discuss your observations.
South Carolina's waterways provide drinking water, electricity, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) is tasked with regulating water quality and use. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) is responsible for:
- assembling the state water plan and assessing water availability,
- providing fisheries management of public waterbodies for recreational and commercial fishing,
- scientific expertise regarding habitats and natural resources, and
- maintaining safe waterways for navigation and public enjoyment.
When fish kills occur, SCDHEC and SCDNR work together with DHEC determining the cause of the kill and SCDNR estimating the extent and economic value of the loss to the state's natural resources. Fish kills can be caused by various factors, some of which are natural and some of which can be harmful to humans. These factors include:
- depleted dissolved oxygen levels,
- excessive water temperature,
- harmful algal blooms,
- bacterial/viral infections,
- parasitic infestations, and
Many of these factors occur naturally, besides the obvious pollutants, but others may be exacerbated by human related activities such as improper herbicide or fertilizer applications or excessive nutrient loaded discharge from industry or stormwater runoff from nearby livestock operations.