Thu., July 5, 2012 12:51pm (EDT)

Advisory Issued For Ogeechee River
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 2 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Residents are advised not to swim, fish or eat fish from the river until further notice. (Photo Ogeechee Riverkeeper)
Residents are advised not to swim, fish or eat fish from the river until further notice. (Photo Ogeechee Riverkeeper)
Effingham County officials have issued a fishing and swimming warning for the Ogeechee River, where a sickened catfish was pulled from the river.

The three-foot blistered fish is the latest in a string of dead marine life in the Southeast Georgia river.

Last year, thousands of fish died there in the state's largest fish kill.

Another fish kill happened in May.

Effingham County emergency manager Ed Myrick says, this week's blistered fish died of the same bacteria that caused the previous two fish kills.

"If last year wouldn't have happened, if none of this had been going on, and a fish would have popped up with blisters on it, I would have had some concerns about that," Myrick says. "However, with everything that's been going on, we know there's a problem with the Ogeechee River and there has been now for over a year. So, with this coming up, it was obviously a concern and we needed to shut it down."

"At this time, it was based just on those blisters," he says. "And the reason we did it so quickly was that if nothing would have happened last year or if nothing would have happened in May, it would have been different."

Officials say, the bacteria are always present in the water but become a problem when the fish are stressed by other factors.

Last year, local groups sued King America Finishing company, blaming the textile mill for the thousands of fish killed.

The company agreed to a million dollar settlement.