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Aquatic Herbicide Use Linked to Declining Fish Population
During a comprehensive fish survey which included spring, summer and fall netting and electrofishing surveys, Greg Matzke, a fisheries biologist for the Wisconsin DNR discovered that all of the lake’s largemouth bass were older than 5 years of age. After intense sampling last year, only one black crappie was under six years of age and there weren’t any northern pike under the age of eight.

Matzke also found that the lake’s panfish population had declined an estimated 75% in the last ten years. The fish population of Lake Ellwood wasn’t reproducing and the decline coincides with herbicide treatments of the lake. 2,4-D was used to treat aquatic plants, namely Eurasian watermilfoil beginning in 2003. While the reduction of the aquatic invasive species has been significant the chemical treatment has also harmed native plants. The plants that are necessary for young fish to survive.

 
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Stormwater Pollution is Killing Coho Before Spawning - Researchers at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle worked with collaborators, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local tribes and the Wild Fish Conservancy, to survey 51 sites from 2000 to 2011 in streams all over the Puget Sound basin. They used the survey data with a new computer model to map predicted coho death rates. The results show that in an estimated 40 percent of their range in the Puget Sound Basin, 10 to 40 percent of coho salmon die before they can even spawn because of pollution.


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