Thousands of Iowa Fish Dying en Masse: Should we be Concerned?
Thousands of fish are going belly-up around the Hawkeye State right now.
According to Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Mass fish deaths can happen for a variety of reasons. These are a few that it lists:
- high land and water temperatures decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water
- severe or sudden storms or floods
- low water levels in freshwater river systems over summer
- changes in water quality
- sudden changes in water temperature
- fish diseases and infection
- pollution from pesticides and other chemicals
- water being released from dams
- blackwater events
- acidic water entering lakes and rivers
It'd be safe to say that the changes in water quality, fish diseases spreading, or pollution would be plenty of causes for concern in these places where fish have been dying en masse.
However, the Iowa DNR is on top of things, and they claim the reason behind it all is completely natural. The governmental body says that an algae bloom is dying off, resulting in a lack of oxygen in the water.
The bloom is dying due to the cooler weather that has been happening this week, and when the death occurs, it takes oxygen out of the water, making it difficult or impossible for fish inhabiting the lake to breathe.
As reported by the DNR and shared via KCCI, the most recent death at the Humeston Reservoir, "The DNR says it's between 3,000 and 4,000 fish. It's totally natural and not due to a chemical spill."
While the large groups of dead fish initially caused a disturbance in the Humeston community, the smell further rose further unsettling and worrying amongst locals in the area regarding their health.