HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Huntington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that a fish kill has occurred at Tappan Lake and its tail waters.
The fish kill is being caused by the turnover of the lake. Turnover occurs in the fall due to cool air temperatures dropping the temperature of the surface water and causing it to sink. This causes the anoxic water, water that has no available oxygen, which has built up on the bottom of the lake to come to the surface. This anoxic water has built up an oxygen deficit that when exposed to oxygenated water consumes the available oxygen making it unavailable to fish. Although there is some oxygen at the surface, fish quickly become trapped or stressed by the change in conditions and some die. This fish kill was first noticed in Tappan Lake’s tail waters.
The Huntington District has coordinated with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) to increase flows in order to oxygenate the tail waters and remove dead fish and also to monitor water conditions at multiple locations around the lake.
This form of mechanical aeration is a temporary fix to improve conditions downstream of the lake. Huntington District will continue to coordinate with the ODNR and MWCD to determine the trade-off of the potential pool loss to the benefits downstream. Flushes in the tail waters can reduce fish deaths below the dam.
It may take a week or more for conditions to stabilize and return to normal within the lake, until that time it is likely that a small number of fish will die and wash up on shore.
For more information, contact Public Affairs at 304-399-5353.
Release no. 17-023