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More fish kills found in Seneca Lake ADVERTISEMENT

More fish kills found in Seneca Lake

SENECA LAKE--Fishermen and residents on Seneca Lake have noticed a concerning trend, fish kills, that range in size and have occurred over the past few weeks.
The Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association issued an update on the situation, Saturday, July 8.
"Over the past few weeks, various size fish kills have been observed around Seneca Lake. The predominant species seems to be the "sawbelly". The sawbelly is the fresh water version of the alewife which are members of the herring family. Fishermen are generally reporting very large and numerous schools of these bait fish, as observed on their sonar depth/fish finders. The population of these fish would seem to be at a high point. On a large lake like Seneca, it is often hard to know what accounts for these significant fish kills."
SLPWA member, Addison Mason, reported a fish kill to Brad Hammers, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation fish biologist responsible for the Finger Lakes.
Hammers responded, "We have received numerous reports over the last few weeks. We recently collected some fresh specimens and sent them to Cornell for analysis. The initial results were a heavy infestation of a protozoan Chilodonella."
He also included the state fish pathologist's comments: "Chilodonella is a really common protozoan which, like Ich and ichthyobodo, can be deadly (to fish). Mortality events related to it are often associated with contributing causes such as spawning, dramatic temp fluctuations, etc."
Hammers continued, "Therefore this protozoan is likely what caused the kill. There is no harm to humans. The duration of a kill of this nature is hard to determine. We are going to try and collect another fresh sample to confirm the initial analysis."
The SLPWA and the DEC rely on observations and reports from the Seneca Lake community to help document the extent, frequency and location of fish kill occurrences. If you observe a fish kill or other water quality concern, please document your observations by taking photographs and visit and submit a Water Quality Concern report.

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