Savannah River training wall (copy)

The Savannah River between Augusta and Aiken is pictured. 

The Savannah Riverkeeper is asking for help from the public to identify the source of a fish kill in the river.

The organization is asking for fishermen, boaters and scientists to help.

“When you are out fishing, boating or walking along the river and catch or see dead/dying fish with sores, please let us know,” an email from the organization states.

The organization would like to collect dying fish and asks that if someone catches a fish with sores on it they put it on ice and contact the Riverkeeper so the fish can be collected.

The group also wants folks to take a close-up photo and record the GPS location and time of when each dead or dying fish is discovered.

Tonya Bonitatibus, the Savannah Riverkeeper, posted a video to Facebook on Tuesday showing an eel and gar that had been found dead.

She said the running theory is that something has put a stressor in the river.

“The bacteria – a lot of them have sores – so the bacteria is being allowed to take over somehow. We are collecting water samples, having those analyzed. We are working with South Carolina and Georgia (Department of Natural Resources) to try and get them to be able to put the resources forward to help us figure out what’s going on.”

Bonitatibus said in the video to also let the Riverkeeper know about any dead alligators, turtles or birds.

The organization’s website includes a map of where dead fish have been found and has a submission form where people can send information.

Any microbiologists, chemists and ichthyologists interested in assisting the search for answers can contact mary@savannahriverkeeper.org.

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