Northeast Missouri fish kill blamed on drought

This is one of 2,000 to 3,000 Asian carp killed near South Gifford, Mo.

The extended dry spell and extremely hot weather are getting the blame for a fish kill in northeast Missouri.

It happened in an old cut-off channel of the Chariton River about a mile west of South Gifford.

Mike Anderson, a fisheries management biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said 2,000 to 3,000 Asian carp, mainly silver carp, died due to a lack of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Anderson said fish receive dissolved oxygen in water from two sources: wind and wave action and from photosynthesis in plants in the water.

"There was no flow going through that system,â?? said Anderson. â??The water, through evaporation, became very shallow, very, very nutrient rich, and just a combination of warm water and low dissolved oxygen (made) fish start dying."

Anderson said warm water doesn't hold dissolved oxygen as well as cool water.

He also told KTVO that Asian carp are a problematic species, so this fish kill isn't necessarily a bad thing, noting the bad part is the horrible smell for those living nearby.

Anderson said heat-wave-related fish kills have been a problem in other parts of Missouri, but the kill near South Gifford seems to be an isolated incident in northeast Missouri.