Property owners want to see fish kill cleaned up along False River

Property owners want to see fish kill cleaned up along False River

When visitors rent property near False River, they do not expect to be met by the smell of dead fish, but that is what some of them may have to deal with for the time being.

Owners of those properties are upset because they want to see someone clean up the shoreline after a massive fish kill, but they probably will not get any help.

"The smell is atrocious," said Angel Bain, who owns a rental property in Ventress.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (WLF) said a cold front came through, depleting oxygen from smaller, weaker fish.

Bain and other owners are afraid that the horrible stench left by the thousands of dead fish will hurt their business.

"As a property owner, you can't come outside, and owning rental property that we rent out on a weekend and weekly basis, you can't come outside," 
Bain said.

Currently, no one is going to clean up the mess as WLF officials said the department does not have the resources to handle it.

Instead, WLF and Pointe Coupee Parish leaders have decided to let the fish decompose on their own.

"I know it's not the most convenient thing for property owners to have dead fish adjacent to their shores, but like I said it should dissipate on its own,"
said Brian Heimann, a biologist manager for WLF.

He believes the fish will be completely gone within two weeks, but owners want to see action taken sooner because parish and WLF officials should take some responsibility for what happened.

In September, the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury started to draw down the water levels in order to revitalize the lake.

Property owners believe that may have led to this fish kill, but officials said they don't believe the two are directly related. Heimann said the potential for a fish kill exists whether the lake is at a high level or not.

However, one owner believes the lower water levels didn't help the situation, and he wants Wildlife and Fisheries to take responsibility.

"They made it very clear to us, at several past meetings, it's their decision to do the draw down, and the property owners have no control over the lake," said Bill Ruix. "We would really hope they would step to the table as a regular property owner does, and do their job, clean up their mess."

WLF officials recommend that no one try to clean the fish themselves because of health reasons and asked that people be patient while the first decompose.

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