Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fish Kill

I got lots of calls about fish kills this winter which is pretty typical, but uncharacteristically have been getting calls about fish kills this spring. I went out to investigate a fish kill on a 16 acre lake near Elmwood today, and what was strange was that only bluegill between 5-9 inches were killed??? Made me do some thinking, and although we havent nailed down exactly what happened I have somewhat determined that those bluegills were so focused on making babies, that they ended up getting killed while the rest of the fish must of been aware of danger and simply headed out!

This lake is 65 feet deep and typically is crystal clear with visibility about 20 feet, but with all the rain we have been having this late in the season, I think tons of fertilizer from all the corn fields has been washing straight into the lake causing a massive algae bloom. There were various types of algae blooming within the water column as well as blue-green algae blooming on the top as well. Here are some pics of the brown algae in the water.

When the algae bloom reduces visibilty to less than 12 inches, oxygen related fish kills can occur very easily for various reasons. I am waiting for some lab results to determine the exact types of algae and help determine a cause of death and formulate a game plan.

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