Friends of Wilderness Park wants to help investigators find out who killed thousands of fish in Salt Creek. And the preservation group is offering up to a $1,000 reward.
Thousands of fish â€” mostly carp and channel catfish â€” died last weekend along a 10-mile stretch of the creek from Roca to Lincoln, including Wilderness Park.
The state Department of Environmental Quality believes the kill was caused by illegal dumping of ammonia. DEQ investigators are waiting for results from water samples.
Agency spokesman Rich Webster said investigators ruled out two possible sources of contamination: an ammonia pipeline that runs through the Roca area, and livestock waste.
â€œBeyond that, any other possible sources are being considered and that would include meth lab waste,â€ he said.
Ammonia is one of the chemicals used in making the illegal drug.
Mary Roseberry-Brown, president of Friends of Wilderness Park, said the reward is for the â€œidentification and convictionâ€ of the person or persons responsible for the kill.
The quality of the information will determine how much the group pays, she said.
â€œThe minute I read it in the paper, I was sickened,â€ she said.
Friends of Wilderness Park works to preserve and protect the park and educate people about it and other environmentally sensitive areas in Lancaster County.
Wilderness Park is a 7-mile-long park on the cityâ€™s southwest edge. It serves as a floodplain for Salt Creek.
Webster said DEQ officials have received a couple of tips and is investigating one they believe is credible.