Cave Run Lake Kentucky White Bass Fish Kill

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Biologists are investigating a fish kill in Kentucky’s Cave Run Lake which affected thousands of white bass.

Dr. Bob Durborow, aquaculture extension specialist at Kentucky State University, said the white bass he examined had bacterial infections which contributed to their condition, but was likely not the primary cause of the fish kill.

Durborow sent samples of the fish to the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery in Georgia for additional testing for viruses. The results of the tests may not be available until later this summer.

Gerry Buynak, assistant director of fisheries for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, said anglers first observed thousands of dead and struggling white bass in Cave Run Lake the weekend of June 8. No other species were affected.

Many of the white bass had marks on their bodies, the cause of which was later determined to be bacterial infection. The fish kill affected white bass throughout the 8,270-acre lake.

Buynak noted a similar white bass fish kill occurred in the lake in the early 2000s. However, that fish kill only affected larger fish. This week’s fish kill affected white bass ranging in size from 6 to 16 inches.

To help maintain the fishery, biologists stocked 64,000 fingerling-sized white bass in Cave Run Lake on June 13.

source: Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources