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“Moderate” fish kill occurring on Lake Decatur

May 09, 2013 at 05:32 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reports a “moderate” fish kill is now occurring on Lake Decatur.

Species affected include small freshwater drum and gizzard shad.

Due to the limited number of species involved, the kill likely is disease-related, according to DNR.

Possible causes include bacteria, fungus or a virus.

Disease-caused fish kills have not been reported in recent years, but according to DNR, it is “not an unusual occurrence for lakes in central Illinois.”

This explanation is from a notice sent by e-mail from DNR spokesman Chris McCloud:

“Gizzard shad often do not survive prolonged winters, and may still be stressed due to the prolonged cold/cool spring weather. Young freshwater drum are often in poor condition, and are often the victim of naturally occurring disease outbreaks in spring and late summer.

"A combination of quickly warming water and heavy rains that have flushed large amounts of organic debris into water bodies can result in heavy bacteria loads that can stress fish, resulting in extensive fish kills.”

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