The most common cause of a fish kill is the result of a drastic change in environmental conditions within a water body. During a drought, oxygen levels in a water body diminish, thereby affecting the native aquatic life which relies on specific ecological and biological conditions in order to thrive. Ecological hypoxia, or reduced oxygen in water, tends to be a common cause in the death of aquatic life within a water body. While factors such as an algae bloom or overpopulation may play a role in the occurrence of a fish kill, reduced water levels caused by a drought tend to drastically reduce the presence of oxygen in the water, thereby causing the aquatic population to perish.
“In addition to the recent drought, heavy rainfall that occurred this week may have contributed to organic loading and oxygen demand within certain water bodies in southern Louisiana,” said Chris Piehler, Administrator of DEQ’s Inspections Division. “Unfortunately, such sudden changes in the climate tend to negatively impact the quality of life of fish and other aquatic life residing in lakes, rivers, bayous and tributaries.”
For any questions or concerns about fish kills, citizens may contact the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality at (225) 219-3640 or Toll Free 1-888-763-5424.
Citizens may also report an incident online by completing an incident reporting form at: http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/apps/forms/irf/forms/.