Report Blames Horses for SeMo River Funk

SEPTEMBER 8, 2006 - Posted at 4:38 p.m. CDT

EMINENCE, MO - Horses, not people, are fouling a southeast Missouri river popular among canoeists and campers.

The Jacks Fork River draws thousands of visitors each year.  But a seven-mile stretch below Eminence, about 120 miles southwest of St. Louis, suffers from poor water quality.

A report released yesterday by the U.S. Geological Survey found that E-coli and fecal coliform levels worsened during trail rides that have attracted as many as 3,000 riders at a time.

DNA testing concluded that horses were a primary source of fecal coliform, followed by cattle and sewage.  A USGS water quality specialist says boaters and swimmers are not to blame.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)