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Fish kill reported at Lake Leota

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
May 9, 2012
— Officials were looking into what caused a small fish kill on Lake Leota on Friday just as officials were preparing to reopen the newly stocked lake to fishing for the first time in three years, a local volunteer said.

People on Friday morning noticed about 50 dead fish floating in the lake in a five-acre area of water that had a white, cloudy plume "like milk," said Kyle Allen, a volunteer with Save Our Lake Environment.


The group has worked for three years to restock the 26-acre lake in Evansville.


The fish, which included bass, walleyes, perch and medium-sized crappies, were isolated to the cloudy area of the lake. Lake Leota is fed from the north by Allen Creek, and it has an outlet to the south.


Boyd Richter, a conservation warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said he looked into the situation, but the DNR opted not to test the fish or the water because of the small scope of the kill.


Richter said it's likely a glut of fertilizer runoff washed into the lake, causing the kill.


Allen said the fish didn't appear to be diseased, and wind and rains over the weekend seemed to break up the cloudy plume on the lake. He said no more dead fish have turned up since the initial kill.


The kill came one day before officials were re-opening Lake Leota for its first open fishing season since 2009, when Save Our Lake Environment started a major stocking program.


The group has stocked the lake with thousands of bluegills, crappies and small perch, along with hundreds of walleyes and bass and about 5,000 pounds of minnows, Allen said.


In any case, Allen said, the kill hasn't seemed to harm fishing on the lake.



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