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.
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