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Science and the Environment

Fish are Dying in Bull Shoals Lake

Fish in Bull Shoals Lake are dying, and Missouri Department of Conservation biologists attribute it to flooding several months ago.

Since September 5th, dead walleye, striped bass, yellow perch, suckers, drum and longear sunfish have been found on the portion of Bull Shoals Lake between Lead Hill Marina and Oakland Marina in Arkansas.  Because of the winding nature of the lake, a portion of the affected area is in Missouri. 

Biologists says some fish prefer cooler water, but right now some species cannot inhabit the cooler water found below a depth of 30 feet at Bull Shoals due to unusually low oxygen levels.  They say that’s likely caused by the decomposition of organic material that was covered up or washed in the lake during the spring flooding.  A similar situation at Bull Shoals in 2004 led to die-offs of walleye, crum and blue catfish.

The impact of the fish die-off is still being determined.