State investigating Willamette River fish die off in Lane County

The state is trying to figure out what killed a large number fish found on the Willamette River in Lane County.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office called the number of dead fish found "abnormal."

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Environmental Quality are investigating.

Kelly Reis, a spokeswoman for ODFW, said it is not known right now how many fish died. An agency biologist is still counting and identifying the fish.

She said the dead fish were found almost two miles downstream of a Springfield wood products plant that caught fire Thursday. Officials don't know if the fish died because of the fire.

Reis said a staff person from the city of Springfield informed officials of the dead fish Friday afternoon.

The sheriff's office is advising people to stay out of the Willamette River near the confluence Mill Race and the river at Island Park until more is known about the situation. The area officials are concerned about is from Island Park down to Alton Baker.

Officials also say dead fish located or fish caught near the river shouldn't be eaten.

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