People look at dead and dying fish at the Arduini boat ramp in Rock Falls, Ill. Sunday June 21, 2009. Illinois investigators are trying to figure out what caused a fish kill on the Rock River in northwestern Illinois, between Grand Detour and Sterling. (AP Photo/Dixon Telegraph, Alex T. Paschal)
Massive fish kill on the Rock River
Rock River closed
Due to rising water, swift currents and floating debris, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is restricting boating on the Rock River in Lee, Ogle and Whiteside Counties. This restricted area is off limits to all recreational watercraft until further notice. IDNR has authorization to designate restricted boating areas when navigation is deemed significantly hazardous.
STERLING (AP)—Illinois investigators are trying to figure out what caused a fish kill on the Rock River in northwestern Illinois——between Grand Detour and Sterling.
Sgt. Carl Lewis of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says they’re trying to determine if the run off from a train derailment in the Rockford area got into the Kishaukee River, which flows into the Rock River. That train was carrying ethanol, and Friday’s derailment caused an explosion that killed one person.
The Department of Natural Resources is working with the state Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
The state is advising the public not to eat fish from the Rock River in Ogle, Lee and Whiteside counties until the cause of the fish kill is determined.
More than 1,000 dead fish have been found in the Rock River as a result of this week’s fish kill, and federal officials are expecting answers this week on the cause.
Tom Cook, an on-scene coordinator with the Environmental Protection Agency, said test results are expected this week of water samples taken following Friday night’s train derailment and ethanol-fueled fire.
Water from a creek near the crash site, plus the Kishwaukee and Rock rivers, is being tested, along with samples of dead fish. Cook said he couldn’t say yet if the train wreck caused the fish kill, however.
Among the species affected are carp, catfish and walleye, as well as some turtles, Cook said. Dead fish are washing up along the Rock River from Grand Detour all the way to the Mississippi River.