Home > Mass Animal Deaths, Pestilence > Arizona: Thousands Of Fish Found Dead Along 20-Mile Stretch Of The Salt River

Arizona: Thousands Of Fish Found Dead Along 20-Mile Stretch Of The Salt River

By Chelsey Davis, AZCentral – “An outbreak of golden algae killed thousands of fish this week in a 20-mile stretch of the Salt River, officials said.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department received reports from fishermen Tuesday of dead fish floating to shore. The reports ranged from east of Roosevelt Lake to Horseshoe Bend, said Jim Paxon, a spokesman for Game and Fish.

After taking water samples and testing the fish, investigators determined Friday that golden algae caused the die-off, Paxon said.

Authorities believe the drought, along with increased salinity in the water, led to the outbreak of golden algae, said Kirk Young, a Game and Fish fisheries biologist.

Officials are not sure what triggered the toxicity and salinity problem in the Salt River. Paxon said storms in the mountains could have washed ash and silt from the Wallow Fire into Black River to the White River, which turns into the Salt River.

Paxon said that the river is nearly 15 degrees cooler than Roosevelt Lake and that the algae problem subsides before entering the reservoir.

But in the Salt River, the amoebalike golden algae attacked the gills of fish and suffocated them, Paxon said.

Fish such as bluegill, buffalo, carp and catfish have been most affected in the river, Paxon said.” Read more.

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