Fish die-off in Ontario lake a mystery

June 18, 2007

So many carp have died in a lake near Toronto that local public works officials have scheduled special pickup days for dead fish.

People living near Lake Scugog, an hour's drive north of Toronto, also would like to know what is killing the fish, the Toronto Star reported. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has sent water samples to Guelph University but does not expect any results for about two weeks.

There's no agreement on what is happening in the lake. J.J. Beechie, a spokesman for the ministry, said the die-off involves only carp. But Jim Adams told the newspaper he has seen dead rock bass, sunfish and other species.

"There's something seriously wrong here," he said. "Normally the lake is covered with thousands of geese and seagulls. Where are they all? They know something we don't."

In the meantime, with Lake Scugog property owners hauling hundreds of pounds of dead fish off the beach, the Durham Region public works department scheduled dead fish pickups Saturday and Monday.

"It became painfully obvious there were far more fish than people could handle," said Cliff Curtis, the public works commissioner.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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