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Expert says fish kills relatively common in hot weather - KOAM TV 7

Expert says fish kills relatively common in hot weather

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Warm summer days seems like the perfect time to fish but the hot days are taking a toll on the fish population in local rivers and creeks.

A fish kill in Southeast Kansas is just one of seven reported to the state in the last few days.

Sherrie Hernandez recently came upon more than 200 dead fish along a entire creek on private property north of Frontenac, Kansas.

According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) fish kills during summer months are not out of the ordinary, but that doesn't mean it is any less shocking to discover.

"This is my favorite fishing spot and I was just here last weekend, and I didn't hear anything like this but when I came all I saw is a bunch of dead fish," says Hernandez.  "There is bass.  There is catfish.  It's all fish - not just - there's crappie in here, there's not just small fish, there's a lot of big ones here, and some fish I don't even know what they are."

Hernandez has fished the creek regularly over the past four years and says the water levels are by far the lowest she has ever seen.

KDWPT Regional Fishery Supervisor Sean Lynott says the fish kills can occur due to warmer and dryer conditions changing oxygen levels in the water.

"The warmer the water, the lower the oxygen concentration that it can sustain," says Lynott.  "Often you let nature take it's course and really it's not too uncommon, to have a summer kill, such as this, especially when you look at our drought conditions."

The KDWPT says this particular kill will be entered into a fish kill database, but does not pose a specific risk to human health.  The department also says  the oxygen level should go back to normal in a couple of days as the algae production begins to level off.

The KDWPT says anyone who notices a fish kill should report it to ensure the water levels are safe.

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