FAIRFIELD, Idaho (KLIX) Idaho wildlife officials are investigating another possible fish kill caused by harsh winter conditions. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says another winterkill dealt a blow to the fish at Mormon Reservoir just south of Fairfield.

Wildlife officials say think ice, deep snow, and low water levels resulted in little oxygen for fish to live on. Regional Fishery Manger Doug Megargle said in a prepared news release that decomposing bacteria used what oxygen was left and killed other vegetation in the reservoir. Officials say they are continuing to investigate to determine if the winterkill is completely to blame.

“This is very disappointing,” said Megargle. “Camas County had worked hard to restore public access to the fishery last year rebuilding bridges that had been condemned for safety reasons. “We had stocked last fall hoping we could begin to rebuild the fishery, even though stocking conditions weren’t ideal. We took the chance stocking in better than average water levels for that time of the year, but we did not anticipating such a heavy snowfall winter”.

During the summer Magic Valley health officials warned of a toxic algae bloom at the reservoir and cautioned the public from recreating until conditions improved. Mormon Reservoir is set to be restocked later this month with 3,000 foot long trout and about 100,000 smaller trout in September. Wilson Lake Reservoir had also experience what authorities believed was a winterkill near Hazelton last month.

Photo courtesy South Central Public Health District
Photo courtesy South Central Public Health District

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