Southeastern Fishes Council
Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes

Scientists Seek Causes Of Stress For Dying Fish
June 11, 2006

Release from:
Associated Press

ROANOKE, Va.- Fish with lesions are continuing to die in Virginia's Shenandoah River, and similar kills have been reported in the Potomac River in West Virginia.

The fish show signs of stress, and some males have female characteristics. But scientists so far are at a loss to explain why.

Complicating Virginia's investigation is the fact that recent kills involved a new species on a stretch of the river that was NOT affected previously. Dead northern hogsuckers were reported on the main stem of the Shenandoah in Clarke County.

The kills in the Shenandoah this spring have NOT been as extensive as last year, when 80 percent of the smallmouth bass and redbreast sunfish in the South Fork developed lesions and died.