Louisiana Fish Kills Need to be Reported – Here’s How
Sportsmen and women who frequent the bays and bayous of coastal Louisiana are being asked by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to be cognizant of fish kills in the coming weeks. The fish kills which could involve hundreds if not thousands of fish are a by-product of the state's recent bout with extreme temperatures.
The Department of Wildlife website says the extreme heat combined with cloudy skies and inland storms have already resulted in some significant fish kills across the state's coastal region. A recently reported fish kill near the town of Prairieville is still under investigation.
The most widely accepted school of thought regarding fish kills this time of year has to do with a lack of oxygen in the water. The warmer the water gets, especially during times of extreme temperatures, the less oxygen it has the capacity to carry. This situation can be exacerbated by low or stagnant water, periods of very heavy rainfall, or an abundance of rotting and decaying vegetation in the water.
LDWF officials say it is important that each fish kill be reported and investigated. While low oxygen is usually the culprit in the majority of the fish kills reported this time of year it is imperative that LDWF verify that fact and make sure that the event was not caused by a manmade catalyst.
In some cases, industrial runoff or improper disposal of waste products could have tipped the delicate balance of nature. But usually, the events surrounding a mass fish kill can be traced back to natural origins.
If you encounter a mass fish kill in a body of water you can report the incident to Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries through the agency's fish kill page.
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