Hobey Bauhan [letters, Aug. 4] may be right that the poultry industry as a whole is trying to do the right thing environmentally. But individual farmers obviously don't share his environmental viewpoint. A July 20 Metro article quoted a Shenandoah Valley poultry farmer, preparing to give 350 tons of chicken manure to a farmer down the street, as saying, "I can't see how it would be enough waste to get to the river and harm the fish."

Last month my husband and I went to the Shenandoah River for a long weekend, as we have done several times a year for a number of years. We'd heard about the fish kill but weren't prepared for what we saw.

The river looked sick -- foam riding on the current and an ugly color to the water. For hours we didn't see a single fish rise. We were so disgusted, we came home two days early.

This year's fish kill is the third in four years. All that toxic water flows into the Chesapeake Bay, which doesn't need any more problems.

We're killing our natural waterways, and we all should be doing something about it. Instead, we get the Virginia Poultry Federation telling us about "best practices" and farmers who refuse to understand what 350 tons of manure will do to the river. Whatever those "best practices" are, they apparently aren't doing the fish any good.

JOAN SCHRAMM

Annapolis