Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

The Associated Press calls a recent fish kill on Monongalia County’s Dunkard Creek a mystery:

BLACKSVILLE, W.Va. — It’s an environmental whodunit.
At least 60 fish were found dead recently in Dunkard Creek near Blacksville. The state Department of Environmental Protection is looking for the cause but hasn’t found any answers.
Investigator Mike Carico says it’s an unusual case.
Carico says the DEP has investigated everything from a natural process to industrial waste. But investigators haven’t been able to find the source of the problem.
Until the source is found, Carico says the DEP can’t identify a solution.

Interestingly enough, Carico didn’t appear to mention acid mine drainage as an option. The area around Dunkard Creek is honeycombed with coal mines, and all of those mines are in high-sulfur coal seams. Eyewitnesses to the Dunkard fish kill report seeing bright orange deposits on the stream bottom. That’s consistent with “yellowboy,” an iron sulfate deposited during mine-acid discharges.

Not accusin’. Just sayin’.