Carcasses of dead carp float along an oxbow lake near the Bear River. The major kill event had raised concern by some about water quality in the Bear River, but officials with the Division of Wildlife Resources say low water and heat are to blame.
A large number of dead fish discovered near the Bear River that had some concerned about the river’s water quality is is nothing to raise a stink about, according to the preliminary results of an investigation by the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources.
According to an email composed by Chris Penne, the DWR’s northern region aquatics manager, “One of our Law Enforcement Sergeants is looking into the kill, but it is looking like there is no need for concerns over water quality in the Bear River itself...”
Penne indicated that the fish kill happened in an oxbow lake adjacent to the Bear River called the Horshoe Sloughs, that is not connected the river. While the reason is under investigation, low water levels and heat are the most likely culprits, according to Penne.
“The old oxbow lake appeared to be drained down and the dead fish appear to be mostly common carp, leading us to speculate that the fish may have been deliberately killed as part of a lake/slough renovation,” Penne wrote in the email. “It could also be that the lake was drained down, which allowed it to get too warm and caused the fish to die from the heat and ensuing low oxygen levels (water holds less oxygen when it gets warm).”
While there is no concern over water quality, Penne joked that all the dead fish have had an unmistakable impact on the area.
“...air quality in the local community might be another issue as the smell from all the rotting carcasses appears to be quite potent (LOL).”
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