More on dead carp – 05/29/2004

  • September 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm #506

    More on the story of the dead carp.

    Posted on Wed, May. 26, 2004
    Fishermen worry disease may spread
    Associated Press

    PINEVILLE, S.C. – Some fishermen wonder if whatever is killing off
    the common carp in Lake Moultrie could spread to the lake’s popular
    bass and catfish.

    There have been about 50,000 dead carp found during the past weeks
    along the lake and the Santee River below the Rediversion Canal.
    State Natural Resources Department biologist Scott Lamprecht says
    that could be about half the carp population of the Santee Cooper
    lakes system.

    “I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude,” Lamprecht said. “It is
    by far the biggest single species disease kill I’ve ever seen.”

    Officials don’t yet know the cause. Biologists suspect a common
    bacteria combined with cooler weather earlier this spring.

    Lamprecht says there’s no threat to humans and other fish caught in
    the lake are safe to eat.

    “It’s not a water quality issue that we are aware of,” Santee Cooper
    spokesman Willard Strong said.

    Lamprecht advised people not to swim near floating fish carcasses.

    The carp is not a favorite with fishermen and wildlife leaders. A
    statement about the fish kill from the Natural Resources Department
    on Tuesday said that the “removal of carp from our state waters can
    actually be viewed as a positive thing since they compete directly
    with popular game fish in the organisms they eat and physical
    destruction of gamefish nests.”

    The agency said other states have spent hundreds of thousands of
    dollars in carp removal programs.

    Some fishermen wonder if another species is next.

    “If it’s the carp now, which is a pretty tough old fish, is it going
    to go from there to the catfish, to the bass?” said Ron Neal, one of
    the lakes’ few carp fishermen.

    Lamprecht says no other fish species have been stricken by the
    disease since the carp began dying about three weeks ago.

    “The conditions apparently were just right for this to jump on this
    particular species. I don’t want to jump up and down, but it’s
    probably a good thing for the system,” he said.

    Biologists think the fish kill is from one of two bacteria,
    columnaris or aeromonas. Preliminary tests have pointed to
    columnaris. The state wildlife agency expects to have test results
    for bacteria within a few days.

    The scene on the lakes is a strange one.

    “You just see white specks sitting out there. You pull up beside
    them, and it’s carp lying dead,” Neal said.

    “They’re floating wherever the wind blows them,” said Kevin Davis of
    Black’s Fish Camp, who counted more than 100 during a circuit of Lake
    Moultrie this week.

    Lamprecht said vultures, turtles and alligators will eventually clean
    up the mess. Don’t mourn for the carp, though. Lamprecht says the
    hearty fish will survive and thrive again.

    “In three years,” he says, “we’ll probably be back at the same

    Information from: The Post and Courier,

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