Officials say increase in dead fish at Lake Martin natural event - Montgomery Alabama news.

Officials say increase in dead fish at Lake Martin natural event

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Volunteers have found hundreds of dead striped bass near the shorelines of Goat Island, near Martin Dam on Lake Martin, in the last two weeks.

"They don't like it too cold and they don't like too hot," said John Thompson, head of the Lake Martin Resource Association.

However, this is not an environmental disaster. In fact, there is science behind it, dictated by the powerful hands of nature.

"It's been an unusually wet summer. We've had an awful lot of rain which I indicated the dam would have to release some of those waters," said Thompson.

As a result, the turbines at Martin Dam far below the water pulled the cool water replete with oxygen as the excess water flushed through the dam. This is not good for the striped bass. Its DNA demands different water requirements in terms of temperatures and so you have a situation like this: dead fish with a pungent smell.

Lake Martin volunteers have been scooping up the fish and burning them.

"The weekend wasn't ruined," Thompson said, who credited lake volunteers for doing the dirty work of getting rid of the dead fish.

Thompson has no idea how long the fish kill will last but it should run its course by October. That's according to the Alabama Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

"This is not an issue," Thompson said.

As a point of reference on the rainfall amount, central Alabama is 21 inches above normal  for this time of year. The excess rain has also killed some of the blueback herring fish, according to Thompson.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved. 

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