Recent fish die-off

Hello Lake Attitash

As many of you have noticed we are experiencing a fish die-off. This has occurred every year but this year it seems we have seen more dead fish than usual. It is subsiding so we expect that the worst is over. Please remove dead fish from your shoreline and dispose of them away from the lake.

We asked Dr. Hillary Snook, EPA scientist and lake resident what he thought might be the cause. Below is his answer.

Hillary’s response:

“Since most of the fish were white perch, I suspect it is a result of post spawning stress and a couple other factors. Their spawning period is usually from about mid-May through June and when this strenuous activity is combined with a weakened state from over wintering, the result is usually a die off. As water warms quickly, the metabolic rate of these fish increases dramatically as well, adding another layer of stress. It also falls well in line with “spring turnover” when the bottom water (cooler in winter) mixes into the surface water bringing up lots of bottom nutrients. This can kick off an early  “bloom” which it appears you had and will cause a pretty big swing in dissolved oxygen levels through the course of a twenty four hour period (high dissolved oxygen during the day, but much reduced at night). The multiple factors is usually more than the fish can handle.”

Summer really is coming!