Large Common Carp Die Off on Lake Francis Case

PIERRE, S.D. – Over the past several days, Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has been receiving reports of a large fish kill in the Lake Andes and North Bay area of Lake Francis Case.

GFP field staff have been on the scene and are reporting that the dead fish are almost exclusively common carp. Staff have collected a few of the fish and sent them to South Dakota State University for further study. “At this point, we believe it is a carp-specific virus,” said area fisheries supervisor, Chris Longhenry.

“Fish kills like this usually occur when fish are stressed from spawning,” said Longhenry. “A rapid decline in oxygen in the water can also be a factor as warm water typically holds less dissolved oxygen than cold water; meaning that in the summer months, oxygen is already more limited for fish and other aquatic animals.”

GFP would like to assure anglers and recreational users that summer fish kills are not new and in most cases are not indicative of water pollution or illegal activity.

GFP staff will continue to monitor the situation. Anglers who observe a summer fish kill are encouraged to report it to a local GFP office or conservation officer.