Whitesburg KY

Accidental concrete spill kills some Kingscreek fish

A fish kill on Kingscreek last week was caused by an accidental spill of concrete during construction of a bridge, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife said.

Conservation Officer Homer Pigman said he was called to the area after residents found minnows dead along a section of creek about one quarter- to one half-mile long.

“The county was contracting a boy to build the bridge, and concrete got in the water,” Pigman said. “Concrete jerks the oxygen out of the water.”

Pigman said he notified the Kentucky Division of Water, which said the contractor has a good record of compliance, and since the spill was accidental, no one was cited.

County Judge/Executive Terry

Adams said the county had been told previously that the bridge was probably wasn’t the cause of the spill. Deputy Judge Jason Back said the preliminary finding was that the fish were killed at different times and the bridge only needed one pour of concrete, but he had not heard back from Fish and Wildlife since last week.

Pigman said Greg Hale Construction was moving wet cement from one side of the creek to the other when it sloshed out into the stream. He said the fish killed were minnows and suckers, and the population should return to normal “in a few weeks.” Pigman said biologists with the Fisheries Management Division estimated an applicable fine of only $20 to 25, so no citation was written.

“It would be different if it was intentional,” Pigman said. “If they had a bunch of concrete left over and just decided to dump it in the creek to get rid of it, they would have been cited, but there was no intent.”

The work is to repair the bridge at Arrowhead Drive, which was damaged by flooding during the winter.

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