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Thousands of fish dead at High Rock Lake

http://66.225.205.104/JR20091028.mp3

A large number of fish have turned up dead on a cove at High Rock Lake northeast of Charlotte. When this happens, it's called a "fish kill" and it appears to be the largest on High Rock Lake in at least 20 years. WFAE's Julie Rose reports. Since Sunday night, people have been coming into the Tamarac Marina restaurant reporting lots of dead fish on an isolated cove of High Rock Lake. "Everybody's worried about it," says Rhonda McIntyre, who works at the restaurant. "The guy that first reported it to me said there's hundreds of thousands of dead fish over there. Anywhere from your pinky size, up to 7 or 8 pound carp." Click here for Yadkin Riverkeeper video of dead fish The Division of Water Quality doesn't have an actual count of the dead fish, but estimates there are thousands. Yadkin Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks thinks it's at least a hundred thousand. "The whole shoreline is covered in white - areas look like they have snow on it, so many dead fish," said Naujoks. He was paddling across the cove in his kayak when we reached him by cell phone. Naujoks suspects a massive spill of raw sewage earlier this year from a Thomasville city water treatment plant is to blame for the fish kill. But State Water Quality officials say that's unlikely, since the cove is several miles from the site of that 16 million gallon spill and separated from the rest of the lake by an embankment. Instead, water quality officials believe a sudden change in temperature caused water to shift in the cove. That brought water with less oxygen to the surface, killing the fish. It's the first major fish kill on High Rock lake since the drought of 2002.