August 5, 2014
Upon receiving a number of telephone calls and emails regarding a large number of dead fish around Main Channel Markers 6 & 7 of Lake Norman, the Lake Norman Marine Commission (LNMC) contacted the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) Division of Water Quality to inform them of the concerns being expressed. Below is the text of an email sent to NCDENR from Michael Abney, Lead Scientist, FP-C for Duke Energy and forwarded to the LNMC:
On August 4, 2014, Duke Energy-Environmental Services collected approximately 60 dead catfish on Lake Norman around markers 6 & 7 near Governor’s Island. Markers 6 & 7 are approximately 3 – 4 miles up lake from Cowans Ford Dam. The fish exhibited characteristics associated with oxygen deprivation. Summer fish die-offs occur as oxygen is depleted in the middle and lower levels of lakes due to natural stratification. On Lake Norman, predatory fish are trapped in deep water while feeding on forage fish (i.e., alewife). Environmental Services will survey lower Lake Norman again on August 5.
The LNMC will post further information as it becomes available.
Duke Energy is moving a high volume of water down the Catawba River and through lakes to make room for additional forecasted rainfall. People should be alert to rapidly rising water levels and swift and unusual currents. Excessive floating debris caused by high water levels is creating hazardous boating conditions all along the Catawba-Wateree River Basin.
The water immediately above and beneath dams spilling water is especially treacherous. Duke Energy reminds the public to heed warning signs posted near dangerous areas and avoid boating and swimming in these areas. Stay alert to rising water near dams.
As always, The public can check real-time lake levels and special updates 24 hours a day at http://www.duke-energy.com/lakes/levels.asp and on Duke Energy’s lake information phone line at 800-829-5253.
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