Some unwanted guests have washed up on the shores of Beaver Dam.
Residents have recently reported large amounts of dead carp making an appearance, both on private and public property. A complaint made its way to the state Department of Natural Resources, which took samples for lab analysis. Mark Baldock, fisheries management technician, said the fish were not looking good in various stages of death, with cloudy eyes, sloughing skin and being unusually tied to shore.
An alert issued by the DNR on Wednesday said that investigation found that thousands of last year’s common carp were dead or in a poor state following a May 27 complaint. Samples have been sent to the lab for analysis as the situation remains under investigation, including possibly getting fresher samples to the lab as the weather warms up.
“Use good judgement and stay away from areas of dead fish,” the alert said. A dead pelican also showed up and was transferred to wildlife health, though it is unknown if that is related.
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Baldock said that it’s still unclear what is causing the issue and that there are a lot of fish diseases out there, and while trying to pin it down is tough, hopefully there will be answers.
Bill Foley of the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association noted there was a koi herpes outbreak among carp in Lake Sinissippi, which happened in 2014, and also wondered about the impact of the suspension of commercial contracts to control carp on Beaver Dam Lake in the recent past.
Carp is an invasive species that has a negative impact on the ecosystem and makes it difficult for other fish species to survive, according to Foley.