Cause of Green Bay, Fox River fish die-off remains unclear

By: - July 27, 2022 6:25 am
Trout image

(Photo: Hunter Brumels | Unsplash)

The cause of a large-scale fish die-off in the Fox River and lower Green Bay waters in June remains unknown. Reports of the die-off came in on June 18, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were monitoring the situation by June 20.

Andrea Seldacek, public information officer for the DNR, told Wisconsin Examiner that due to the area’s large size, an estimate of the number of dead fish remains elusive. “As of yet, we have not determined a final cause,” said Seldacek. “All water quality data we collected during our investigation was normal. Thanks to help from the public, we were able to collect four sick or freshly dead catfish that were taken to our health veterinarians for pathogen testing.”

The DNR is still waiting for the results. “We did not get any reports of new areas where large numbers of catfish were dying. The die-off was mostly on the Fox River and lower sections of Green Bay,” Seldacek said.

In June, the possibility was raised that the fish were washed into the river by strong currents and winds. The same week the die-off was reported, parts of Wisconsin experienced severe weather which resulted in the loss of life.


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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.