“There’s obviously something going on,” Noodlers wary of dying catfish

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KINGFISHER, Okla.- The art of noodling is ingrained in Oklahoma's culture.

But outside Kingfisher, some say the catfish are dropping like flies.

For many raised around Kingfisher, noodling is more than a sport, it's a way of life.

Gary Price has been fishing by hand since before he can remember.

"Ahh, since I was a little bitty kid," he explained.

For Gary, the secret is in the spot you pick. In years past, he's sought out an area hidden along the Kingfisher Creek, only found through thick brush and branches.

But now, he says the fish aren't biting, they're dying.

"They shouldn`t be dead like that," said Price. "They can swim through the shallow too."

Along a short stretch of the creek, a number of large fish can be found rotting away.

Gary points his finger upstream, to Kingfisher's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

"This is the only place I've seen them like this," he said.

Kingfisher city officials tell NewsChannel 4, water does run from the plant into the local creeks, but its treated and safe for wildlife.

The Department of Environmental Quality paid a visit to the creek on Wednesday, and reported no evidence of any contamination in the creek.

Exactly why the fish are dying is a mystery, but for Gary it's about more than the fish.

This is about a hometown creek, with something sinister possibly beneath its surface.

"I don't even want to walk back through here anymore," said Price. "There's obviously something going on."

 

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