State officials urging cautoin at White Lake

RALEIGH – State officials are investigating a Bladen County fish kill that resulted in thousands of dead fish washing up on the shore of White Lake. Decomposing fish of various species and sizes have been observed, including chain pickerel, yellow perch, lake chubsucker, redear sunfish and hundreds of trophy-sized largemouth bass.

Since May 2, a consultant hired by the Town of White Lake has been applying a chemical treatment of aluminum sulfate (alum) to the lake water in an effort to address algal bloom issues. On Tuesday, officials with the N.C. Division of Water Resources issued a letter to the town directing them to halt the chemical treatment until further notice. The state has not ruled out a connection between the fish kill and the use of the chemical mixture in the lake.

The fish kill was first reported by citizens who contacted the division on Friday. Agency staff collected water and fish samples which are being analyzed by a laboratory in Raleigh. Results of the testing will help determine the cause of the fish kill.

The public is advised to use caution when engaging in recreational activities where a fish kill is ongoing or has recently occurred.