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Entire fish population mysteriously dead in Nevada lake

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Nevada state wildlife officials are trying to figure out why all the fish have died in a northern Nevada marina where the stocked fishery has flourished since the man-made lake was created nearly 15 years ago, according to Fox News on Thursday.

As many as 100,000 trout, bass and catfish have died over the past month in the Sparks Marina along U.S. Interstate 80 east of Reno, apparently the result of a dramatic, unexplained drop in dissolved oxygen levels, Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said Wednesday.

Fish biologists confirmed low oxygen levels caused the death of an estimated 3,000 fish in one corner of the lake in mid-December, but Healy said they thought at the time that the event was localized and of limited impact. Since then, they've been unable to detect any live fish in the 77-acre lake. Numerous dead fish have been removed from the lake's shoreline, and Healy said it's likely the rest sank to the bottom.

Healy said testing earlier this week found dissolved oxygen levels in the range of 1.1 to 1.9 parts per million. Fish do best with levels in the range of 7 to 9 parts per million and typically can't survive when it drops below 5 parts per million, he said.

Sparks city spokesman Adam Mayberry emphasized there's no health or safety threat at the marina. He said the water typically is of good quality and no similar problems have occurred before.

The department annually stocks the marina in late February or early March 1, but he said they won't be doing that this year unless the dissolved oxygen level "makes a big recovery."

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