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Savannah River Fish Kill Investigation

A few hundred dead fish have been reported so far.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) and Environmental Protection Division (EPD) are aware of ongoing fish mortality in the Savannah River near Augusta, Georgia, and are actively investigating this occurrence.

This fish kill is primarily affecting American shad, although several other species have been collected.  A few hundred dead fish have been reported so far. Fish specimens are being examined by WRD Fisheries Management Section staff, and have been sent to the Auburn University Fish Disease Lab for further analysis.

Each spring, American shad migrate from the coast into the Augusta area to spawn, after which most of the shad die as part of their natural life history.  This process is an important and natural component of the ecology of the Savannah River system, as the shad migration brings nutrients and resources upstream that benefit the local river system.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is responsible for investigating fish kills in Georgia waters.  If you should observe dead or dying fish in your body of water, report the occurrence as quickly as possible by calling toll-free to 1-800-241-4113 (24 hours a day, seven days a week), or contacting your local Fisheries Management Section office ( during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm).

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