Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Thursday, May 24, 2012
MDWFP Investigates Fish Kill at Sardis Reservoir
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and
Parks (MDWFP) biologists recently responded to fish kill reports at
Sardis Lake. Several shoreline areas were examined around the lake.
The kill was over 97% white bass. An estimated 73,510 white
bass died. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
(MDEQ) was alerted by MDWFP.
Live fish were taken to the Mississippi State University
College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Larry Hanson identified the
tentative cause of the kill as columnaris disease caused by
naturally occurring bacteria. Fish were also infected with
Aeromonas, another common bacterium. Stress from spawning,
plus low water concentrating fish, likely contributed to the kill.
A similar kill occurred in 2008.
"White bass are a 'live fast, die young' fish," notes MDWFP
fisheries biologist Keith Meals. They rarely exceed 4 years old and
are subject to many infections, hence, they have no size or bag
White bass first appeared in Sardis in 1998 as an illegal
introduction by anglers. Less than 1% of Sardis' anglers fish for
them. White bass losses should be quickly replaced by their high
reproduction and growth rates. MDWFP biologists will be
monitoring Sardis' fish population for impacts of the kill.
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