Mystery Die-Off Hits Fish In Salt River Above Roosevelt

A school of trout

Photo by Andy Towle. |

A school of trout


Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists are investigating what caused the death of hundreds and perhaps thousands of fish in the Salt River east of Roosevelt Lake.

Anglers reported finding the fish Wednesday upstream of Horseshoe Bend in a 20-mile stretch of the Salt River.

The fish were reportedly found in the river from its confluence with Roosevelt Lake, officials said.

Thursday morning, investigators assessed the extent of the die-off and possible causes.

Early reports indicate the die-off is extensive, possibly affecting hundreds of catfish, carp, bluegill, red shiner and buffalo fish.

“At this point, the fish kill seems to be confined to an area of the Salt River upstream of Roosevelt Lake,” said Kirk Young, Game and Fish fisheries chief. “So far, we have not found any fish dying in Roosevelt Lake itself.”

Game and Fish plans to test both the water and dead fish to determine a cause.

Game and Fish advises the public not to eat any dead or dying fish regardless of where they are found.

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