UPDATE: Washington County Tenn. Residents Concerned About Large Fish Kill By George Jackson Reporter-Producer / News Channel 11 Published: September 14, 2009 Update: Monday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Meg Lockhart, spokeswoman with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, issued the following statement to 11 Connects George Jackson on Monday: Members of our Water Pollution Control (WPC) staff immediately investigated the fish kill on Thursday, following a complaint received that day. I am told that TWRA also was there, conducting a fish count and an investigation. The fish kill occurred at Jackson Island off Highway 107 in Washington County. The most likely cause of the fish kill was runoff from nearby tomato fields. It was reported that a total of approximately 300 to 500 dead fish of various species were found, and no dead fish were observed above a culvert that serves as drainage into the river from the tomato fields (staff went upstream as far as Little Germany in Bumpass Cove). During WPCs investigation, a sprayer typically used to spray chemicals on plants also was observed. Because this incident appears to be agriculture related, our staff members requested that the Department of Agricultures pesticide division conduct a site investigation to determine if agriculture chemicals caused the fish kill. I will update you when we receive additional information. I understand that our WPC staff members visited the site again today because we received a complaint that the fish kill was ongoing. However, there was no evidence of an additional or ongoing fish killbut staff continues to check further downstream. _________________________________________________ Update: Monday, Sept. 14 at 12:30 a.m. 11 Connects George Jackson contacted officials with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Coservation. Theyre researching the situation. Well have an update tonight, on 11 Connects News at 11:00 p.m. _________________________________________________ Washington Co., Tenn.Over the past three days, hundreds of dead fish washed up along the banks of the Nolichucky River. I was fishing the other day and the fish just came floating down through here, one right after the other, Jerry Herrell said. My brother had been over here the day before, and it was even worse that day, he said. Most of the fish collected in a shallow, one-mile stretch of river water between Jackson Bridge Road and Taylor Bridge Road. Local residents expressed concern for the fish and themselves. That stretch of the Nolichucky supplies drinking water to parts of Washington, Greene, and Unicoi counties. I was going to bring my wife fishing, but after driving down here and finding that out, noI wont come back today, James Hughes said. 11 Connects Reporter George Jackson searched the shore with area farmers Saturday, and found dozens of fishsome of them dead for days. Local Fishermen said they have never seen a fish kill of this magnitude. Something went in that was pretty potent to kill that many fish, Robert Furches said. Officials said T-DEC (the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) is searching for the source of contamination.