DNR investigates dead fish covered in sores, fungus in Geist Reservoir

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is looking into what some fisherman are calling an abnormal-looking fishkill on Geist Reservoir.

It is still early in the season for recreational fishers to be out on the water but it is not unusual to have fish turn up dead when the weather starts to warm up.

For people like William Briere, who have been out on the water training since March, they are noticing something different in the fish.

“The fish that you are seeing now have big red splotches on them and a lot of times those red splotches start getting that fungus you know, growing around them,” Briere said. “And it is just odd.”

Briere has been fishing on Geist Reservoir for more than 20 years. He says it is not so much the number of fish that turned up dead in this years kill that is concerning, but rather the types of fish.

“Big mature ones that are several years old, for them just to die like that and have the fungus growing on them like what is growing on them, there is something going on,” says Briere. “I am not a biologist but it sure looks chemical related.”

The Geist Reservoir Coalition treats the area for algae a few times a year, but the chemicals used are cleared by the Indiana Department of Environmental management.

However, there are other ways chemicals could be getting into the water and that is what DNR and IDEM are trying to figure out.

Contamination could have big effects on both the reservoir and those who fish in it.

“When you see the fishkills like that, that affects your tournament fishing. Nobody wants to go fish a lake where you can’t catch fish,” says Briere.

The Geist Reservoir Coalition says it is not overly concerned with the fishkill but that there are many different sources that could have led to the contamination of the water.

As of now, IDEM says that there are no concerns with the water affecting people.

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