Up to 100,000 Dead Fish in Nevada Marina Mystery
State wildlife officials are trying to figure out why all the fish have died in a northern Nevada marina where the stocked fishery has flourished since the man-made lake was created nearly 15 years ago. As many as 100,000 trout, bass and catfish have died over the past month in the Sparks Marina along U.S. Interstate 80 east of Reno, apparently the result of a dramatic, unexplained drop in dissolved oxygen levels, Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said Wednesday.
Scientists say a bitter cold snap could have caused oxygen-poor waters to rise from the old rock quarry’s bottom to the surface, but they don’t understand what sparked the massive die-off. Fish biologists confirmed low oxygen levels caused the death of an estimated 3,000 fish in one corner of the lake in mid-December but Healy said they thought at the time the event was localized and of limited impact. Since then, they’ve been unable to detect any live fish in the 77-acre lake. Numerous dead fish have been removed from the lake’s shoreline and Healy said it’s likely the rest sank to the bottom.