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Monday, January 5, 2015

Fish kill at Holmes Run

A couple of people who regularly fish in Holmes Run reported a fish kill in recent days, but inspection teams from the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) did not find any dead fish.

One person who went fishing at Holmes Run on Jan. 1 saw “a whole lot of fish dead in the stream,” including large fish 11 to 14 inches long as well as small fingerlings and minnows.  Another fisherman counted 38 dead trout that day, and someone else reported “a pretty bad kill” on Jan. 2.

DPWES learned about the fish kill on Jan. 3 and immediately sent three two-person trouble response inspection teams, said spokesperson Irene Haske. They walked the along the sewer line from Columbia Pike to Dora Kelley Park, checking manholes and sewer lines.

“They saw no sign of overflow, no broken pipes, and no fish kill,” she said, although she acknowledged “the fish could have been dispersed or sunk by the time the inspectors got there.”

It’s also possible the fish kill could have been caused by runoff from the water main break on Columbia Pike Dec. 30, she said. That main carried drinking water which has chlorine in it and chlorine is fatal to fish.

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