Pearl River recovering from massive spill

Slidell, La. (AP) - In the summer of 2011, the Pearl River turned from chocolate brown to dense black, its surface jammed with hundreds of thousands of dead fish.

Six months after a chemical discharge from the Temple-Inland paper mill in Bogalusa, the river looks healthier.

Fish have returned to the Pearl and adjacent waterways, with an assist from state fisheries experts. Local officials and environmentalists are closely monitoring the river's condition.

Mike Wood, fisheries director for the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the department is under way with a 3-year sampling project to restore the river.

The Pearl was restocked the river with tens of thousands of channel catfish and bluegill fingerlings in November, but Wood said there is more to be done.

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