Dead Fish Wash Up on Shoreline Near Alpena
Written by MI DNR   
Monday, 04 September 2006 09:58

Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries managers are asking for the publics help in collecting samples of fish that are visibly ill along a 16-mile stretch of Lake Huron shoreline south of Alpena, following reports received by the DNR Aug. 29 that dead fish were washing up on shore.


DNR Fisheries Division personnel surveyed sections of the shoreline to determine species and numbers of fish killed. Investigators found that most fish were in an advanced state of decay indicating they had been dead for approximately 5-6 days.

The highest density of dead fish was located along a seven-mile stretch from Partridge Point south, where investigators estimated 1,500 adult dead fish along the shoreline. Wind direction, which has been from the east, is likely responsible for the observed distribution.

Most of the dead fish were identified as lake whitefish, with a few freshwater drum and carp observed. Indications are the mortality was a relatively localized event, overall mortality was not extensive and the event appears to have subsided. Because of the decay of the fish observed, it is still unclear what caused the mortality.

Fish kills are not uncommon to Great Lakes waters, and may be caused by a number of naturally occurring factors and by stress-mediated diseases, said David Borgeson, supervisor of the DNRs Northern Lake Huron Management Unit. The water quality of Thunder Bay remains very good.

DNR fisheries officials are trying to collect samples of live fish that are visibly ill, or very fresh dead fish to send out for laboratory analysis to accurately determine the cause of death.

Citizens may assist in this effort by reporting any observations of sick fish or fish that have recently died. Contact DNR Fisheries Manager David Borgeson at (989) 732-3541 to report new occurrences of fish mortality in this area of Lake Huron.

You need to login or register to post comments.