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Carp die-off at Lake Francis Case


The common carp: SD GFP Area Fisheries Supervisor Chris Longhenry believes the cause of a large die-off of carp in Lake Francis Case might be a carp-specific virus coupled with spawning stress and hot temperatures.

In the last few days, reports have been coming into the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department (GFP) of an inordinate number of dead fish being found in the Lake Andes and North Bay areas of Lake Francis Case.

Lake Francis Case is on the Missouri River, south of Chamberlain, with Highways 14/281 crossing over the Fort Randall Dam wall.

Field staff for the GFP have inspected the area. They confirmed that the dead fish are almost exclusively common carp. Sample fish have been sent for study at South Dakota State University.

Chris Longhenry, area fisheries supervisor, currently believes the cause of death might be a carp-specific virus.

Longhenry also put forth the educated conjecture that extra stresses on the carp could be from spawning, and from a rapid decline in oxygen in the water due to relative quick and extreme hot temperatures.

GFP is telling fishermen and other users of the waters that summer fish kills are not new. In most cases such fish die-off are not cases of water pollution or any illegal activities.

GFP will continue to closely watch the situation. If anyone observes more of a summer fish kill, report it to a local GF&P office or officer.