Crappie deaths in Mississippi – 06/06/2004

  • September 30, 2013 at 11:22 pm #516

    Preliminary DEQ reports show water is safe, official says
    The Associated Press

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is trying to determine what killed
    1,000 white crappie that washed up on the shore recently at Lake

    Jack Huntley, operations manager at the lake, said samples of the
    fish were sent to Mississippi State University to determine what
    killed them.

    “We haven’t had anything like this to happen in about 20 years,”
    Huntley said.
    Huntley said preliminary reports from the Department of Environmental
    Quality in Jackson show the water in Lake Okatibbee is safe. He said
    columnaris bacteria was discovered, but the bacteria is not uncommon.

    “That bacteria is found in all water, but it will only have an effect
    on fish when they are stressed,” Huntley said.

    On Tuesday, only a few dead fish lined the shores of the lake.
    Huntley said whatever caused the fish to die may have passed.

    Gloria Tatum, chief of the DEQ’s Field Services Division, said
    Tuesday a bacterial analysis performed on the fish showed an as-yet-
    unidentified virus.

    The fish who are not stressed will continue to be healthy, and the
    fish with weak immune systems will die off and new fish from spawning
    season will take their place, Tatum said.

    “It’s just mother nature at work,” she said.

    DEQ biologists believe the water is safe, Tatum said.

    In the meantime, Huntley said sportsmen should disinfect live wells
    in their boats if they are going to fish at Okatibbee and other area
    lakes. He also said if fish look healthy and are cleaned properly,
    they should be safe to consume.

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