State Water Resources Research Institute Program
Project ID: 2009IN251B
Title:Publication 1: What Killed the Fish? Using Observations, Sampling, and Science to Solve the Mystery/Publication 2: A Field Guide for Determining the Cause of a Fish Kill
Project Type: Information Transfer
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 4
Focus Categories: Agriculture, Groundwater, Law, Institutions, and Policy
Keywords: Pesticides, water quality, fish kill
Principal Investigator: Whitford, Fred
Federal Funds: $ 10,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 20,087
Determining the cause of a fish kill can be complicated, but often a good investigation may be all that is needed to find the obvious cause. The best way to start an inspection of the site, is to collect some facts. Fish can die from a number of causes such as inadequate dissolved oxygen in the water, petroleum, an algae bloom, a manure runoff or chemical spill, sudden temperature change of water, infectious diseases or parasites, septic system discharge, an aquatic pesticide application, or excessive silt or mud runoff. It is important to respond to any fish kill complaints immediately if those facts are to be collected.
The first publication, What Killed the Fish? Using Observations, Sampling, and Science to Solve the Mystery, will explain to government inspectors, commercial pesticide applicators, agricultural growers, and the public how to how to evaluate the cause(s) of a fish kill. The publication will contain a list of detailed list of potential causes based on physical, biological, and environmental evidence and how to review the information collected for the leading cause of the fish kill.
The second publication, A Field Guide for Determining the Cause of a Fish Kill, will consist of a trifold for field use which will list all of the pertinent questions that need answering when making a field visit to determine the cause of a fish kill.
Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF