PIERRE — The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks says it has been receiving reports of a large fish kill in the Lake Andes and North Bay area of Lake Francis Case in recent days

GF&P field staff are reporting that the dead fish are almost exclusively common carp. Staff members 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. 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."

GF&P said summer fish kills are not new and in most cases are not indicative of water pollution or illegal activity. Staff will continue to monitor the situation. Anglers who observe a summer fish kill are encouraged to report it to a local GF&P office or conservation officer.