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Thousands of Dead Fish in Schell Lake - KOAM TV 7

Thousands of Dead Fish in Schell Lake

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VERNON COUNTY, MISSOURI -

"Chaos, ignorance, it's a mess."
Vernon County resident, Chris Greer expressing his disappointment in what happened to the lake.
"A lot of mad people. There's a lot of people that fish out here, bring their kids out here and fish. A lot of people who survive off of fishing out here"
Greer and others at the lake say they wish the Missouri Department of Conservation would have drained the lake differently, a way not resulting in a mass death of mostly Carp.
 "This is the full drainage that we had in our plan to drain this lake to get rid of the water to do the renovations" says Michael Allen, a biologist with the MDC. 
The MDC is draining Schell Lake into the Osage River for their wetlands renovation project. They'll eventually be doing things like making the lake deeper and building islands, but they say this month's heat killed thousands of non-native Carp, who seek shallow water for spawning this time of year.
They say it wasn't ideal, but not the worst situation. 
"This is a very stinky and kind of gross mess but in the long run, we don't want these fish being transferred anywhere else. Ideally, it would have happened later on or we would have had a lot more people available to come down here and be able to get these fish out" says Allen.
The MDC issued a "fish salvage order," meaning anybody can use alternative methods of fishing in the lake like bow fishing, gigging and dip nitting till June 30th.
Although residents and reps from the department don't seem to be finding much common ground, area vultures seem to be enjoying the stinky situation.


 

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