Restocking Pearl River

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BOGALUSA, La. (AP) – After a three-hour journey in a truck-mounted fish tank, thousands of young bluegills were released into the West Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish this week.

In small batches, state wildlife officials released 200,000 bluegills – raised at a state hatchery in Alexandria – into the river near Interstate 59 as part of a restoration effort. Last year, an industrial spill dumped a byproduct known as “black liquor” into the river, depleting oxygen and killing more than a half-million fish and mussels.

Tim Ruth, a state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist, tells The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/Ys0QUt ) that in the first year of the three-year restoration plan the department released 120,000 red ear, 66,000 largemouth bass. 27,000 channel catfish and 76,000 bluegills, not including this past week's shipment.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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