The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will increase its presence on the roads, water and sand at
Posted: 06/07/2011

SOLON - A blue green algae bloom is to blame for a fish kill in south arm of Lake Macbride. Runoff from a storm on May 29 combined with an increase in water temperature stimulated a blue green algae bloom in the south arm of the lake, east of the causeway near the south campground. Dead fish began showing up last Thursday.

Paul Sleeper, fisheries biologist for Lake Macbride, said the fish kill mainly involved 8 to 10-inch white bass and wipers.

He said the fish were killed from a drop in the amount of dissolved oxygen in the area due to the blue green algae bloom that was fed runoff from the storm last week. "We did not have this problem in the north arm," said Sleeper, who was out collected dead fish from the shoreline.

Prior to the rainfall, the south arm had 10 to 12 feet of water clarity. "Now it's pea soup," Sleeper said.

He said the algae bloom is still occurring but does not expect to see additional dead fish as most fled the south arm out to the main lake.

Sleeper said a total of about 1,000 white bass and wipers were killed along with a handful of bluegills, crappies, walleyes and channel catfish, which are species more susceptible to low oxygen levels.

Blue green algae produces oxygen during photosynthesis but consumes oxygen from the water on cloudy days and at night, and combined with the natural nighttime drop in oxygen levels, caused the fish kill.