More on Lake Koocanusa Salmon fish kill
Only adult kokanee affected along 11-mile stretch of reservoir
August 22, 2005
FWP Biologists are investigating a fish kill in Lake Koocanusa (Libby Reservoir) that was reported Monday afternoon. Thousands of adult kokanee, about 8-9 inches in length, have died in the lower one-third of the reservoir. Fisheries manager Jim Vashro notes that this is a very small percentage of the very large population of kokanee in Koocanusa and it appears the kill is ending.
Vashro says that kokanee in the reservoir caught by hook and line should be safe to eat. "Fish, Wildlife and Parks is not aware of any potential threat to human health," he said.
"We’ve had several other similar fish kills involving kokanee in Koocanusa the past decade or so." There is no obvious cause for the kill, but Fish Health Specialist Jim Peterson collected fresh fish and sent them off for analysis. Past kills were reported too late to collect fresh samples. Vashro noted that results should be available in a few weeks.
According to Libby Area FWP Fisheries Biologist Mike Hensler, the fish kill extends from Libby Dam to the Five-Mile area, slightly over 11 miles. He noted that the kill affected only kokanee.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks news release