JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. -- Curtis Marc Ethridge has been coming down to Jekyll Island with his grandson for years. Each year they hope to catch the big one. "Eight years in a row since he was in a stroller," he said.
But this week health officials say people on St. Andrews Beach and Clam Creek could catch more than they expected. Both beaches are now under advisory after high levels of the enterococci bacteria were found.
"We will just keep our feet out of the water," said Ethridge.
"We recently had a big storm, Tropical Storm Beryl, and that stirred up the water and contributed to the bacteria," said Elizabeth Cheney with the Department of Natural Resources.
Health officials say this kind bacteria usually comes from animal or bird waste. And it can cause gastrointestinal illness. "We recommend people don't swim while there is a beach advisory," said Cheney.
"Trouts here are really good eating," said fisherman Marc Andrews.
Health officials say its okay to eat what you fish, if you clean and cook it thoroughly. "I wash my hands when I get finished and make sure I don't take anything home I don't want," he said.
Both beaches will be retested and stay under advisory until the bacteria levels drop. "We expect it to take a couple of weeks because the water is so stirred up," said Cheney.
The Department of Natural Resources are collecting samples Thursday. They will get those results Friday. For more information or updates on beach advisories go to http://www.gachd.org/Beach%20Water%20Quality%20FAQs.pdf.