Oklahoma residents calling for action after latest fish kill

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

For many who live along the Salt Fork and Arkansas rivers in northern Oklahoma, the water is an integral part of life.

"I've enjoyed my whole life on the river. It's been very nice. It's a beautiful place until all this starts happening," said Larry Champlin.

But just this past weekend, no one would have wanted to be on the water.

"It was solid fish, thousands of fish. Stunk, stunk real bad," said Timmy Glaser.

Larry Champlin and Timmy Glaser regularly hit the water in their airboats.

But several years ago, that changed.

"Over 5 years, we've had 20 spills or 20 fish kills," said Champlin.

These men have their theory; that oil companies are dumping salt water in the river.

"I think they're dumping it in any little creek they can find in little pastures to save a dollar," said Champlin.

"It's getting harder to get rid of their salt water and they're shutting down disposal wells because of the earthquakes and it's going to get harder and harder to get rid of it," said Glaser.

"Being in a flowing system, it's hard to really get a handle on what actually the cause was," said Nathan Copeland, a fish hatchery technician at Kaw Lake with the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Copeland says they have formed a partnership with several other state agencies to get to the bottom of this.

"We have been able to install monitors in several of the bridges on the Salt Fork so we can monitor the water quality 24/7," said Copeland.

Glaser and Champlin hope to get answers soon, before they lose the place they love.

"I'm tired of it. It's happened too many times, it's reoccurring. And nobody's doing anything about it," said Champlin.

A spokesperson with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission says so far, they have no readings to indicate this is the result of oil and gas activity.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.