Monday, July 22nd, 2013
Dead fish reported in lake
By Nancy Allen
A scum of algae covers this channel on Grand Lake late last week. Hundreds of fi. . .
GRAND LAKE - Fish kills likely due to low dissolved oxygen levels caused by an algae die-off were reported around the lake during the weekend.
Hot, humid temperatures during the past week have promoted algae growth, particularly in dead-end lake channels where there is little water movement.
"It's been mostly shad and a few small bluegills," said Brian Miller, manager at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park. "With the weather we've had we've got algae dying off and it uptakes oxygen."
Miller said he received almost a dozen calls on Saturday and Sunday about dead fish in different areas, mostly in channels. The dead fish numbered in the hundreds, he said.
Miller said he can't say if the incidence of algae die-off induced fish kills have increased on the lake in recent years.
"We've had die-offs in the summer before, I think we're just more educated as to why," he said.
Mort Pugh, supervisor at the Grand Lake St. Marys State Fish Hatchery on the east side of the lake, said he lost about 30 perch in a pond of 1,200. He attributes the kill to high water temperature. As water temperature increases it is not capable of holding as much oxygen, he said.
"I couldn't believe our water was 90 degrees on top and bottom," he said. "There's 10-foot deep water in the pond."
Pugh said hatchery workers pumped well water into ponds late last week and over the weekend to lower the temperature and increase dissolved oxygen levels.
For the fifth consecutive year, the lake is under a state-issued water quality advisory due to unsafe algae toxin levels.