Officials are investigating the sight of a “significant fish kill” along the North Fork River, which is near Marion in McDowell County, and a no-swim advisory is in effect for seven miles of the river.
A fish kill is when hoards of fish die off in a localized area.
The no-swim advisory affects the seven miles of the North Fork River from Woodlawn down to where the river meets Lake James and the main stem of the Catawba River, according to a statement Friday from Sam Perkins, the Catawba Riverkeeper.
There are no other such advisories for other parts of Lake James, the McDowell County Sheriff Department said in the statement.
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Perkins said the Environmental Protection Agency was still on the scene Friday evening taking samples to determine the cause of the fish kill.
“If this was from nearby human activity, we hope enforcement agencies will hold them accountable, especially given the panic this has created for folks trying to enjoy beautiful Lake James on July 4th weekend,” Perkins said.