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Tyler Legg
Charlotte, NC, United States
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Monday, July 19, 2010

BP finally finished the cap we've all been anxiously waiting for. Looks like the oil spill is history (I hope). If you're a NC fisherman who enjoys fishing the upper Watauga River in NC, don't get too giddy about the BP spill being contained. The BB & T in Boone screwed up. Big time. Apparently a contractor who was spreading asphalt sealant on the BB & T parking lot, failed to prevent the sealant from washing into this creek during a rainstorm. All aquatic life (trout, crayfish, insects, darters, baitfish, and of course anything that drank from the water are dead). 97 trout were found dead in only 1.5 miles of this Watauga River tributary.


Mark said...

That really is unfortunate. Hard to find words to describe it. Appropriate words at least. Not sure what the procedure should have been, but sandbags around the storm drains might have helped. Sounds like there was no actual haz-mat response at all. Not sure if it could be contained once its in the creek or not.

Midgeman said...

Tar Heel, I've been involved with a couple of asphalt incidents and the folks to talk to are at the EPA if you want an investigation. That little creek runs somewhere and flows into something and they get real busy when they have a kill on a body of water. We had a couple of asphalt trucks land in the Poudre last year and the fines were mind boggling, so were the fees to clean up the mess. Any sub contractor that seals with rain coming is just flat incompitent.

Tar Heel Fly Fishing said...


It is very unfortunate. I think the best thing to do is just wait and let the chemicals slowly fade away. What happened was heavy rain blew through when a contractor was spreading the sealant. As the rain fell, it washed the sealant into storm drains and eventually into streams. Hopefully it won't affect the Watauga. Sealant entering small feeder streams is bad enough. Safe to say it looks like it will make it to the Watauga unfortunately...


Thanks for the info. I don't necessarily blakme the contractor as he didn't do it intentionally, but it was very careless to spread sealant during a rainstorm.beas

Lance Milks said...

You have no idea how much this bothers me. I think others have said it more politely than I can. I agree that someone should be held accounatble. I know that they didnt do it intentionally but neither did BP. Its not a blame game, its taking responability for your mistakes. Tyler let me know if there is anything that I/we can do.

Lance Milks said...

Phone Number Correction!

I called the nuber listed and the young lady who answered gave me the correct number to call.

(336) 771-5000

She said she has answered hundered of calls about it so its great to hear of that kind of response.

Tar Heel Fly Fishing said...

I really hate it man. It's a shame that someone was that careless.

A guy over on the forum is from Boone. He lives only a mile from the BB & T, so he said he'll keep us in the loop. He did say it's only a matter of time before the chemicals reach the Watauga. Get ready for an even bigger fish kill. If it reaches the tailwater, it's going to be an absolute nightmare...

Keep your fingers and toes crossed. There's not much we can do though unfortunately.

Mark said...

Lance is right, someone needs to be held accountable. Its the time of year where showers and storms can come out of nowhere, but surely there is a way to be prepared for that situation. Seems like some kind of containment should have been possible. Maybe by the time it reaches bigger water, it will be diluted enough to cause little or no harm.

The EPA is probably your best bet since somewhere down the line, that's somebody's drinking water. There's got to be an agency that is concerned about the situation.

Tar Heel Fly Fishing said...

They better be concerned! You are right, it may become diluted when it enters a larger waterway. Let's hope it's true. The fish are plentiful in the Watauga. Especially in the tailwater. Would hate to see it vanish in the blink of an eye.

I would think the winter is the best time to spread sealant. Not too many pop up storms. Or at least check the forecast before spreading.

Mark said...

I've done a little reading on sealants today and it appears that spring and summer are the best times to apply it. Apparently its a temperature thing. Most products say not to apply it if you expect rain within 4 hours of application.

Never really found anything on what can be done if it gets into a creek, just avoid letting it do so. Hopefully its not enough to wipe out an entire river system.

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