Natural Causes Suspected In Fish Kill

The Ministry of Natural Resources suspects natural causes are behind a fish kill in the Belle River Canal.

The Ministry of the Environment is expected to release the results of water tests conducted on samples taken after fish started dying in the canal last Thursday causing a fishy stench in the area.

Ministry of Natural Resources spokeswoman Jolanta Kowalski says officials aren’t willing to commit to the hypothesis just yet, preferring to wait until the test results rule out a chemical spill. However, she says these kinds of fish kills are not unusual. “If you’ve got really heavy rains and then windy conditions, sometimes what can happen is the water turns over on itself,” she says. “The oxygen that the fish need isn’t where it should be, and they try to come to the surface gasping and it can kill them.”

The region suffered flooding in some areas when rain battered the county last week.

Kowalksi says residents should report fish kills to the Ministry of Natural Resources if they suspect a change in the water or illness. Contact the Ministry of the Environment if a chemical spill is suspected.