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Posted on: July 25, 2022

Fish kill on Storm Lake targeting carp


  Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Biologist Ben Wallace said he had received several public contacts about dead fish washing up on the shoreline.

  After investigating Monday, the DNR said the kill is impacting common carp.

  “ I saw only a couple dead fish that were other species, but believe they were unrelated to what's happening with the mass die off of common carp. It's not uncommon to see dead fish wash ashore for a multitude of reasons,” Wallace said.

  “ I believe the carp are dying from a disease that is specifically targeting that species. We were able to rule out dissolved oxygen issues and spawning related stress. There's nothing that indicates there was any type of pollution event or toxicity/poison issue either,” the DNR expert explained. “We obtained a lethargic common carp swimming in the shallows and its gills exhibited a lot of necrotic tissue, which is a symptom of many different types of diseases. Because of those reasons, and the fact that this is a species-specific kill, it leads me to believe it's disease related.”

  Wallace hoped to find a lab to have the sampled fish tested to gain more information on the cause for the kill.

  “I'm not concerned about the fish population in Storm Lake as this appears to only be affecting common carp,” he said. “This kill could go on for another couple of weeks until the disease runs its course and there's nothing we can do about it. I would advise against eating any fish that appear sickly, lethargic, or have sores on their body, but other than that the sport fish are safe to eat. Although we don't see large scale disease related die-offs often, they do happen and it's a natural occurrence.”

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