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News: Wisconsin DNR Asks for Help in Fish-Kill Investigation

News: Wisconsin DNR Asks for Help in Fish-Kill Investigation

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The Wisconsin DNR is asking anglers for help in determining what caused a large fish kill in the Fox River and lower Green Bay impacting channel catfish, carp and sheepshead.

The agency began investigating the die-offs on June 20 and found water samples to be normal, so at this point the cause is still unknown. That’s where the call for the public’s help comes in.

More from a Wisconsin DNR news release:

"The majority of dead fish have been found downstream of the De Pere Dam and into the Bay of Green Bay, but some fish have been reported as far north as southern Door County and upstream on the Fox River to Wrightstown Dam. It’s unknown where the fish originated from and is possible that strong currents and wind are pushing the fish north into Green Bay.

"DNR staff continue to monitor water quality and investigate the cause of the die-off. One freshly deceased catfish was collected on Sunday, June 26, and is being tested by the DNR’s Fish Health Veterinarians.

"However, limited information may be gained since it was the only sample submitted. The DNR will continue to monitor for other suitable samples and submit them for testing as they become available.

"'Many of the dead fish we’ve recovered have, unfortunately, been too decomposed for testing. We need to conduct necessary disease testing to try and understand why this is happening. It’s important that anyone who finds either dying or freshly dead fish contact us immediately,' said David Boyarski, DNR Northeast District Fisheries Supervisor."

What to do:

  • Dying fish – fish that cannot maintain their balance or are floating on the surface but still gilling.
  • Freshly dead fish – dead fish with pink gills.
  • Only dying or freshly dead fish need to be reported at this time.
  • Do NOT handle dead or diseased fish.
  • Report any dying or freshly dead fish with an exact location or GPS location to: Jason Breeggemann, DNR Green Bay Area Fisheries Biologist 
Email:  Phone: (920) 662-5480

The state says people and their pets should not consume any dead or visably dying fish. If shoreline owners need to remove dead fish from their property, they can dispose of them through a licensed landfill and should wear protective gloves while handling dead fish.

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