Fish kill on Lake Springfield called minor, natural

May 22, 2013 at 06:47 PM
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries division reports a recent fish kill on Lake Springfield involved hundreds of white bass.

Dan Stephenson, asst. chief of the DNR fisheries division, said the kill is relatively minor and natural.

A handful of other species also were affected including largemouth bass, channel catfish, drum and common carp.

“It is hard to say what killed these fish, but I suspect it was a combination of several factors,” Stephenson said.

Rapid temperature changes over the past couple of weeks combined with weakened body condition due to spawning and the possibility of disease may have come together to cause the fish kill.

Many diseases and parasites are not species specific.

“But in this case since most were white bass, I suspect disease has much to do with it,” Stephenson said. “Regardless of what killed them, it was a natural kill and very minor, even though fishermen are seeing what they think is a lot of fish,”

Lake Springfield holds two to four million pounds of fish, Stephenson said.

About 200,000 to 400,000 pounds of fish die each year.

“This will have no effect on the sport fishery in the lake which overall is exceptional.”

Lake Decatur also experienced a similar fish kill in recent weeks.

Stephenson said he appreciates those who called to alert the DNR to the fish kill.

“It’s good to know we have a caring and educated public,” he said.