SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – With a cracked ground and dried up plants, Lake Edwin Johnson in South Carolina looks like a desert.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said the lake was accidently drained last week, killing all of the fish inside.
Gradually draining lakes isn’t uncommon for the SCDNR.
“The drawdown of the lake was already scheduled,” SCDNR’s Greg Lucas said.
Officials said the lake was already down 10 feet, and the plan was to do some repairs and restock it by 2024.
However, they said that plan was interrupted.
“The lake drained all the way and of course all the fish that were in Lake Edwin Johnson were killed and that was very unfortunate,” Lucas said.
SCDNR said they still don’t know what happened.
“Could’ve been somebody turning the wrong valve, or it could be the water structure misfiring, or something went wrong. We don’t really know. There’s no way of telling,” Lucas said.
As far as what they’re going to do with the dead fish, they said there are a few options.
“Could be a landfill, if a landfill is able to handle animal waste,” Lucas said. “Could be somewhere on the property where they could take them and bury them where nobody would be around. I know sometimes people will leave things out for buzzards at a safe distance from everybody else.”
SCDNR said although they don’t know how it happened, it’s important this doesn’t happen again, despite the planned drains.
“It’s really one of those things that’s not anybody’s fault, it just happened but I’m sure going forward we’ll be a lot more careful with that,” Lucas said.
SCDNR said until the lake reopens in 2024, people in the area can fish on Lake Craig, Jonesville Reservoir and Lake John D Long.