A “large” fish kill after flooding in Missouri actually has benefits for the state’s ecosystem, officials said.
The fish die-off was reported west of Columbia along Interstate 70 in the Missouri River floodplain, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“As floodwaters receded, many fish did not return to the river, but stayed in pools in the floodplain,” Missouri Department of Conservation Resource Science Assistant Steffanie Abel said in a news release. “As the water level in these pools naturally declines, the water temperature increases and dissolved oxygen decreases, resulting in a fish kill.”
A fish kill is a sudden death of fish in bodies of water.
The Missouri Department of Conservation determined mostly silver carp, an invasive species, died in the fish kill. Silver carp were introduced in the U.S. from Asia to improve water quality but they have become harmful to native species and the ecosystem.
“Though witnessing such a large number of dead fish can be alarming, these fish-kill events will feed other wildlife species, help to control populations of invasive silver carp, and carcasses provide beneficial nutrients back to the soil,” officials said in the news release.
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