Fish kills need reporting

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By The Staff

The recent rains and cloudy skies are causing problems along the Withlacoochee River and in lakes around Citrus and Sumter counties.

Residents are reporting fish kills in various areas, and Fisheries Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) think the number and severity of fish kills could increase over the next several weeks.

“We’ve already had reports of fish kills in the Inverness and Floral City areas as well as various locations on the Withlacoochee River. These kills are a result of low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels,” said Allen Martin, regional fisheries biologist for the FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management in Lake City. “And it could get worse in the coming weeks if we get tropical storm or hurricane activity.”

What do heavy rains and cloudy skies have to do with fish suffocating from a lack of oxygen?

Ironically, a lack of sunshine in the Sunshine State heralds the beginning of problems.  The process starts with overcast skies, hot summer days and rainy weather.

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