Follow-up to fish kill in September:
A fish kill was reported on Cedar Lake on Sunday, September 18, 2016. West Metro Area DNR Fisheries staff investigated on Thursday, September 22, 2016. Area DNR staff collected field measurements of dissolved oxygen and pH. Fish and water samples were collected and sent to the DNR Fish Pathology and MN Department of Agriculture laboratories. Area DNR staff went back to Cedar Lake on Monday, September 26, 2016, to do a fish count and collected more samples. Only Black Crappie (BLC) and a few Yellow Perch (YEP) were observed dead. The fish kill appeared to be over on September 26, 2016. The DNR area staff counted 964 dead fish on eight 100' sections of shoreline giving an estimate of dead crappie between 12,000 and 50,000 fish. Water chemistry test results were within normal range.
There was an unusually high pH measured in the field (9.3) and there was a rain event just prior to the fish kill. This might suggest a runoff or a chemical cause. Historical pH on Cedar Lake is ~8.3. The lab measured pH on the water samples and had readings of ~8.3. It is possible the field measurement was high due to faulty equipment. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency investigated several fields nearby and did not find evidence of manure application within the watershed.
The Pathology Laboratory found Columnaris, and the investigation on September 26 revealed no additional affected species. Multiples species of fish should be affected if the kill was due to an environmental factor or a chemical cause. Therefore, the pathology lab results suggest Columnaris bacteria was the cause of the fish kill.
Columnaris disease is caused by a bacterium called Chondrococcus columnaris. The bacterium is always present in fish populations but seems to affect fish in spring when most of the die-offs occur. It is typically in spring when water temperatures are warming and fish are undergoing some stress due to spawning. Our warmer fall could have provided a similar warming environment. Sometimes, thousands of fish are observed dead or weakly swimming along shores that are windswept. Species affected are usually sunfish, crappies and bullheads and occasionally, largemouth bass and northern pike. When a die-off occurs it is usually a small percentage of the populations that are affected and fishing success is not influenced. Symptoms of Columnaris disease are discolored patches on the body, sloughing of scales, eroded gill filaments and high mortality. There is no practical cure for Columnaris disease as it occurs in the wild.
Fish kills due to Columnaris can be quite widespread in this area. Usually kills on a dozen or so lakes are significant enough so as to be reported by the public each year. During the hot droughty years of 1987-88, Columnaris disease killed fish on virtually every lake in the management area.
Sometimes when fish kills happen people are quite concerned that something may be poisoning the environment. Columnaris disease is generally not a result of man's activities on the environment. It is recommended that fish dead or dying due to Columnaris disease not be consumed. However, any other game fish caught which are normal in appearance and behavior from the same lake may be consumed.
The DNR does appreciate it when the public reports fish kills and they will conduct an investigation if it appears warranted.
About a week ago, many small fish (mainly crappies) were found dead and floating around the lake. Some were found in pockets along shorelines, while others were scattered around the entire lake. Several residents and the board reported this to Melissa Bokman at Scott Watershed Management Organization and the DNR Fisheries Department in Shakopee. The Fisheries personnel gathered samples on Friday, September 23, and sent them to a lab where it will take a few weeks to get the results. In the past, fish kills have occurred due to natural events (water temperature changes, fish diseases. etc.) So while it’s not uncommon, it is still alarming when it does occur. It’s always worthwhile to have it checked out so we appreciate being notified and will let you know the results of the testing as soon as we hear.
The disposal of yard and animal waste, leaves, raked lake weeds and dead animals into the lake is considered littering and is a fineable expense per the Scott County Sheriff's Department. Please dispose of these items properly and not into Cedar Lake. Anyone witnessing a violation, please call the Sheriff's office at 952-445-1411 to report it. Thank you.
Cedar Lake Carp Study
Carp Solutions, LLC contracted through the Scott Watershed Management Organization (Scott WMO), has completed implanting radio tags in 20 carp in Cedar Lake in September. Here is important information so you know what to look for if you catch or find a carp that may be tagged:
First, please notify Melissa Bokman at the Scott WMO so they can retrieve the tag if the fish is not alive or seriously injured to be re-implanted in another fish. They want to have an accurate account of the carp population in the lake & successful study to develop the proper management strategies for Cedar Lake.
Here is how to identify a radio-tagged carp: Look at the undersides of the carp for an incision that is stitched with dark blue stitching. You will find a silver metal antenna extending out of the fish at an angle near the incision (see photos for example). Photos include the finished sewn incision with the antenna coming out of the side and the other is a little zoomed out picture to give perspective of where you should look for the antenna/incision.
What to do if you catch a radio-tagged carp in Cedar Lake:
Please release the fish back into the lake if uninjured;
If the fish is alive but injured pretty badly (floating near shore struggling to survive or just not acting healthy), contact Melissa at the Scott WMO 1-952-496-8887;
If the carp is dead, hold on to the fish and call Melissa at the Scott WMO 1-952-496-8887 to come pick up.
Welcome to the Cedar Lake Improvement District's (CLID) website. Browse the background information and view the parcel map to see if you reside in the CLID, educate yourself by reviewing the lake management plan or check in on the progress of current projects. CLID residents can even share their fun lake photos or post in the lost and found section in order to connect with neighbors.
The CLID is comprised of residencies and open land, both on and near 793 acre Cedar lake in Scott County, MN. Public entities that lie within the specified CLID boundaries include Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park and two public boat landings.
The CLID is overseen by a volunteer board. Board members recognize that those living or owning land within CLID boundaries are stakeholders in the health and quality of Cedar Lake. Through communication with residents, partnerships and/or collaborations with public/private organizations, the CLID works to recognize the water and lake quality challenges of today and make Cedar Lake an improved resource for the future.