Fish die-off in Wisconsin – 06/1/2005

  • October 23, 2013 at 2:29 am #701

    Thousands Of Fish Dead In Starkweather Creek
    POSTED: 7:41 pm CDT June 6, 2005
    UPDATED: 9:41 pm CDT June 6, 2005

    MADISON, Wis. — Thousands of dead pan fish washed up into
    Starkweather Creek east of Madison Monday.

    Wildlife officials blame the mess on a couple of naturally occurring
    things — all happening at the same time, News 3 reported.

    Every year around this time, a bacteria kills fish when water
    temperatures start to warm up. Then heavy winds over this weekend
    blew most of the dead fish on the lake to one area.

    “It’s not an indication that something is wrong with the water
    quality in the madison lakes,” said DNR Fish Manager Kurt Welke.

    Welke said as the the water warms up the number of bacteria

    It happens just as fish are spawning so their immune systems are down
    and they are vulnerable.

    Once infected by columnaria bacteria fish can’t breathe and die.

    The columnaria bacteria that killed the fish is a seasonal outbreak
    that poses no threat to humans, officials said.

    But boaters like Joe Thayer say they’ve never seen a fish kill this
    bad before.

    “There was a little bit of it last year but this year it’s twice as
    bad,” said Thayer.

    Starweather Creek is located east of Madison. Its watershed is much
    of the eastern and northern areas of the City of Madison, as well as
    some Town of Burke and Town of Madison lands, according to the
    Friends of Starkweather Web site.

    The stench of the rotting fish prompted hundreds of complaint calls
    to the DNR.

    Welke said clean-up will be a collaborative effort between the City
    of Madison, Dane County and the DNR.

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