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Drought Conditions Contributing to Fish Kills

By Daniel Cherry | Published 18 Jul 2011 09:47pm | comments

Large parts of Mississippi are experiencing drought conditions. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how the lack of rainfall is making some bodies of water a dangerous place for for a fish to live. 

Looking at the edge of Crossgates Lake in Brandon the evidence of the fish kill is still apparent even days after the recent fish kill. Most of the fish have sunk to the bottom by now, but residents on the lake say there were thousands of dead fish floating just days ago.

"No rain at all for two months, and the water got hot all over the surface. And that was the end of the fish" says John Suckey, Crossgates resident.

Suckey says,"Three days ago you couldn't stand out here. Couldn't stand out here...just a total smell."

There have been several isolated fish kills in Mississippi already this year. Jerry Brown is a fisheries biologist with the state department of wildlife. He says most kills happen when a pond turns over.

"That's where the water on the bottom is cool, and it doesn't have much oxygen. Whenever it rains, it basically just flip flops. It brings those low oxygen levels up to the top and you can have a fish kill."

Brown says later in the summer and fall...if drought conditions persist there is potential for more fish kills. **Boaters are warned to use extra caution as some lake levels are dropping, exposing normally harmless hazards. But there might be relief in the future. Steve Wilkinson is a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson. He says a large high pressure system coming north of Mississippi might redirect rain here.

"That high pressure is north of us now, and with the southerly winds kind of slipping underneath it we're getting into tropical air masses now. So there's a lot of available moisture, but the question is: Will there be anything...some little lows or something to come along."

Wilkinson says some areas of Mississippi are ten inches or more under normal levels of rainfall. Daniel Cherry...MPB News. 

 

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