May 27-- Environmental officials believe a bacteria called Columnaris is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of fish on the Ogeeche River last week.
However, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division says this bacteria only impacts fish under environmental stress and officials have yet to identify what is stressing the fish. They also say humans are not known to be affected by Columnaris.
Dianna Wedincamp with the Ogeechee Riverkeepers says they are doing their own tests on the fish and water and have yet to get results back. Initially she speculated the fish may have been killed by a chemical due to the large burn-like splotches found on their scales and in their mouths.
The dead fish were found in the river about a half-mile below a textile factory in Screven County and as far down the river to Highway 80 near the Chatham-Bryan county line.
Meanwhile, the state warns against swimming or fishing in the Ogeechee River.