Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Iowa: Blue green algae bloom kills fish in Lake Macbride

A blue green algae bloom is to blame for a fish kill in south
arm of Lake Macbride. Runoff from a storm on May 29 combined with
an increase in water temperature stimulated a blue green algae
bloom in the south arm of the lake, east of the causeway near the
south campground. Dead fish began showing up last Thursday.

Paul Sleeper, fisheries biologist for Lake Macbride, said the fish
kill mainly involved 8 to 10-inch white bass and wipers.

He said the fish were killed from a drop in the amount of dissolved
oxygen in the area due to the blue green algae bloom that was fed
runoff from the storm last week. “We did not have this problem in
the north arm,” said Sleeper, who was out collected dead fish from
the shoreline.

Prior to the rainfall, the south arm had 10 to 12 feet of water
clarity. “Now it’s pea soup,” Sleeper said.

He said the algae bloom is still occurring but does not expect to
see additional dead fish as most fled the south arm out to the main
lake.

Sleeper said a total of about 1,000 white bass and wipers were
killed along with a handful of bluegills, crappies, walleyes and
channel catfish, which are species more susceptible to low oxygen
levels.

Blue green algae produces oxygen during photosynthesis but consumes
oxygen from the water on cloudy days and at night, and combined
with the natural nighttime drop in oxygen levels, caused the fish
kill.

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