Carp, like these in Lincoln County's Applegate Drain, are apparently safe for now.
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission fisheries biologists finally got some results back from the laboratory in Washington State of samples taken from carp that died in June at Sutherland Reservoir and Lake Maloney.
The good news is that the initial and supplemental samples taken on carp that died have been analyzed. The bad news is that nothing showed up in the analysis that can be definitively pointed to as the cause.
Personally, I was about 80 percent sure they would find one of the viruses that are very specific to carp, but none showed up in the analysis. There were lots of other viruses and bacteria, but those same viruses and bacteria would be present in almost any sample from these bodies of water on any day.
Actually, a finding like this is not out of the normal realm. That sounds bad, but it is a fact when dealing with sample protocols like this.
Many times a clear cause cannot be identified for a fish kill. Whatever the cause, it is no longer there or we would continue to see fish dying.
The fact that the die-off was quick and specific to carp still leads me to believe it was a viral type. That is like a flu outbreak. Anyone with kids in school can relate to this scenario. A flu bug gets going in a school and in a matter of hours most of the student body can come down with flu symptoms. Yet, in a day or so, itís all over. I think that is what happened with the carp.
NGPC biologists will continue to monitor these bodies of water for any additional problems.
The next issue we see with local lakes and reservoirs will probably be environmentally driven one. Due to lack of rain, dropping lake levels, warm water temperatures and low in-flows, donít be too surprised if you hear about algae blooms affecting fish and posing a real threat to humans.
Rick Windham is the Bulletin's outdoor writer.