UPDATE:

EUFAULA, Ala. (WDHN) — The cause of death for nearly 1,000 catfish on the Chattahoochee River has likely been found, and as investigators finish their case, they are pointing to an unknown angler.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resouces (GDNR) is near the end of its investigation into the mass death of one species of fish, the Blue catfish.

An investigation began on April 20 after a Georgia fisheries biologist noted a large amount of dead catfish on the shore of the Chattahoochee River, according to Chris Harper with the GDNR.

The biologist noted that the fish were all in a similar state of decay in the mud of the river.

Haper told WDHN that after analyzing oxygen levels, disease testing of the fish carcasses, and other tests; all results came back normal.

Harper continued by saying the catfish were likely “harvested and dumped” and the current took the dead fish downriver.

With the state of decay on the fish showing a time of death likely being a couple of days before April 20, authorities are not searching for the person(s) that caught the fish.

Both authorities from Georgia and Alabama took part in this investigation.

Stay with WDHN News for updates on this developing story.

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ORIGINAL:

EUFAULA, Ala. (WDHN) — Catfish deaths are on the rise in the Chattahoochee River and investigators don’t yet have an answer for why.

Large blue catfish have been dying in numbers that some estimates have in the hundreds, according to the Alabama Fisheries Divison of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).

Investigators in Alabama and Georgia are searching for a cause behind the deaths, with Georgia taking the lead in the inspection.

The deaths have been recorded by anglers and investigators spanning from Lake Eufaula to Gordon, according to Chris Greene with the fisheries division of the ADCNR.

Green also said that it is “relatively uncommon” to see one species of fish die in these numbers. He went on to say that though a cause has not yet been determined, a species-specific disease or “spawn stress” from the springtime mating season might be an explanation.

WDHN has reached out to officials in Georgia for more details, however, we have not received a response yet.

WDHN News will continue to provide updates to this story as we receive them.