UPDATE 1-Coast Guard checks reported oil spill off Louisiana

Wed Jun 8, 2011 4:40pm EDT

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* Fisherman reported "oily substance" in water

* Site is near the mouth of the Mississippi River

HOUSTON, June 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a fisherman's report of an apparent oil spill "several miles" long near Venice, Louisiana, a Coast Guard spokesman said Wednesday.

A team was trying to determine whether the substance was actually oil, how much was spilled and where it came from, a Coast Guard spokesman said. He declined to predict what the findings would be.

"It's too early," the spokesman said.

A fisherman reported an "oily substance" in the water two miles southeast of Baptiste Collette Pass, early Wednesday morning, and four pollution investigators were sent to obtain samples for analysis, a news release said.

"The Coast Guard has opened and is using the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to begin mobilizing assets to quickly address the situation," the news release said. (Reporting by Bruce Nichols)

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