BURLINGTON, N.D. — State health and wildlife officials are investigating a fish kill in the Des Lacs River in northern North Dakota.

Walleye, northern pike, perch, white suckers and numerous smaller fish are floating in the water and strewn along the riverbank in the Burlington area, the Minot Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/2cFItx7 ).

There have been no reports of dead fish at the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge upstream, according to Mike Ell, a water quality expert with the state Health Department.

A lack of oxygen in the water due to low river levels this summer might have caused the fish kill, according to Jason Lee, a district fisheries supervisor with the state Game and Fish Department.

“Normally it’s a dissolved oxygen problem in shallow areas like that,” he said. “I suspect that’s what it is.”

Burlington Public Works Director Jack Anderson has the same theory.

“It’s been a pretty dry year,” he said. “I heard the water was kind of lousy, kind of low. There’s a couple of spots out here where the Des Lacs is only a foot or two deep.”

Officials want to know for certain whether that’s the reason. A Health Department crew is being sent to the area to do testing in coordination with Game and Fish.


Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com