November 7, 2011 – This afternoon, officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reached an agreement with Temple Inland for the civil restitution of the August fish kill that killed an estimated 590,000 fish and freshwater mussels. The Pearl River fish kill, caused by low levels of dissolved oxygen resulting from discharge that exceeded their permitted levels released over the course of several days by the Temple Inland paper mill, is estimated to have killed more than 160,000 fish and more than 430,000 freshwater mussels. The settlement with Temple Inland includes the Louisiana portion of the fish and mussels included in the kill, all expenditures by LDWF involved in the fish kill response effort, a planned three-year recovery and monitoring plan, and the costs to restock portions of the Pearl River with largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish.
The total value for the fish included in the kill was $816,022.40. LDWF officials worked to recover half of the total value, which was $408,011.20; officials with Mississippi are responsible to recover their portion of civil restitution values — the remainder of the total estimated value.
In addition to the $408,011.20, the settlement included nearly $44,000 for expenditures made by LDWF during the fish kill response, approximately $88,000 for the planned three-year recovery and monitoring plan along the Pearl River, and restocking efforts to the tune of $220,400. The combined total of all of these parts is $760,245.86.
“Today’s settlement allows us to put to rest the civil restitution for fish and mussels so that we may focus on the truly important part of our work, restocking, restoring and improving access for recreational fishing in the Pearl River,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.
Last week, LDWF fisheries biologists stocked 27,000 catfish and 24,000 bluegill at various points along the Pearl River in response to the August fish kill.
“We are ready to continue stocking, habitat restoration and access projects throughout the Pearl River,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “We know that with dedication and commitment to restoration projects in the Pearl River it may be an even more exciting place for anglers from all over the southeast to fish for years to come.”
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
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