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  1. #1
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    Now it's the black Black River (NY)

    Congratulations to the wonderful individuals who decided to put real black into the Black River last week. Good for those who were responsible for sending liquid manure down the Black River. Let's send all those people, and the people who failed to regulate them, medals for showing all of us how fast 100,000+ large and happy bass, walleye, and pike can belly up to the sun. Makes us all feel proud, doesn't it?

    Mike Ulrichs

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    Jack,

    Thanks for info, I was unaware of this, can you please eleborate on what happened on black river?

    Ralph


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    Quote Originally Posted by rford
    Jack,

    Thanks for info, I was unaware of this, can you please eleborate on what happened on black river?

    Ralph
    LOWVILLE, N.Y. (Aug. 11) - Three million gallons of liquid manure spilled from a northern New York dairy farm into a nearby river, killing what state officials estimate are hundreds of thousands of fish.

    With the strongly scented tide moving its way down the Black River toward Lake Ontario Thursday, the city of Watertown shut off its water intake, and people in Lewis and Jefferson counties have been warned not to drink water from the river.

    "The smell is your typical dairy air, you might say," said Steven Fuller, who owns a riverside restaurant in Lowville.

    For now, local officials are dearly hoping for rain.

    "Right now the river's not flowing much," said Jim Martin, Lewis County's emergency manager. "There's not much we can do, just sit by."

    The spill came from one of the largest farms in Lewis County, Marks Farms, about five miles south of the village of Lowville. The farm is one of the county's 20 largest employers.

    Martin said the spill happened when an earthen wall of a lagoon holding about three million gallons of liquid manure blew out, sending the manure into a drainage ditch and then into the Black River. Martin said the spill happened either late Wednesday night or early Thursday.

    State Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Stephen Litwhiler told the Watertown Daily Times it's too early to tell whether the farmers will face charges.

    An employee answering the phone at Marks Farms said the owner was not taking calls at home Thursday night. The farm is owned by David and Jacquelyn Peck and William Marks, according to federal farm records.

    Already the DEC estimates hundreds of thousands of fish, including perch, bass, catfish, shiners and walleye, will die before the manure surge is flushed away, Martin said.

    "It definitely will affect tourism," he said. "The Black River is known for its fishing areas."

    Martin said such a large spill has never happened in the largely agricultural county where officials say cows outnumber people.

    The gates of the nearby Stillwater Reservoir are being opened to help flush the river.

    Watertown's chief water treatment plant operator, Brian Gaffney, said the city's water treatment system will be able to treat the contaminated water, since it would be well diluted by the time it reached Watertown. Gaffney expected to reopen the city's water intake Friday.

    The state health department is monitoring the spill, which already has affected local businesses.

    "Unfortunately, people assumed that because I'm so close, my water supply is from the river, which it is not," said Fuller, whose restaurant had many cancellations Thursday.

    "There's always a smell that comes from the farm," Fuller said. "Now, the worst is over from the looks of it. Before, there were lots of dead fish going down."


  4. #4
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    I'm really interrested to see if any penalties/punishments will be imposed on that farmer. I'm not familiar with the size of this river, but 100,000+ dead fish seems like a catastrophe on that rivers ecosystem that should not go unpunished.


  5. #5
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    I can think of a few choice punishments, but the rules of the site prohibit me from posting them in a fashion befitting their beautiful cruelty. Let’s just say that one involves a funnel, the aforementioned three million gallons of liquid manure, a keg of nails, and one ornery rabid badger. No badger? A donkey and a cattle prod can work in a pinch…


  6. #6
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    Hey awfull
    go catch some fish!!


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    Re: Now it's the black Black River (NY)

    Quote Originally Posted by sstasiak View Post
    I'm really interrested to see if any penalties/punishments will be imposed on that farmer. I'm not familiar with the size of this river, but 100,000+ dead fish seems like a catastrophe on that rivers ecosystem that should not go unpunished.
    Read they got a 2.5 million dollar fine


  8. #8
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    Re: Now it's the black Black River (NY)

    Call the river keeper RFK Jr.


  9. #9
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    Re: Now it's the black Black River (NY)

    I've been fishing up there for years, just outside of Fort Drum. This is absolutely terrible! See my pics for some recent shots of this river.


  10. #10
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    Re: Now it's the black Black River (NY)

    3....MILLION....GALLONS????????????????


    How big was that holding pond????? For perspective, a typical water tower in a typical town is around 1 million gallons. And they are ginormous!


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  12. #12
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    Re: Now it's the black Black River (NY)

    Just an aside, agricultural waste ponds are regulated far more loosely than sewage plants which fundamentally handle the same stuff. Down in North Carolina they have what are called "hog spills" which confused me at one time since I had visions of pigs being dumped into a river ( I witnessed a tractor trailer of hams split open on the Rte 22 bridge in Easton as a kid - maybe that affected my vision). Well it was actually the manure holding ponds failing like the title story with the same result - miles and miles of river wiped out. Hog farming has turned into a big business with 10,000 hog barns and the waste disposal issues have gotten contentious. No one would treat the sewage of a 10,000 person town the way the wastes from a 10,000 hog barn is, but farmers always argue anything more would put them out of business.


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