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Fish Kills


Fish kills can be related to a number of causes including infectious diseases, toxic substances, or suboptimal environmental conditions. Fish kills most commonly occur in the spring and summer when water temperatures are rising.

In order to successfully determine the cause of a fish kill it is important to arrive during the early stages, when freshly dead or dying fish are available for examination. There are several important observations to make when reporting a fish kill:

1) What is the approximate number of dead fish?
2) Is it only one species of fish that is dying or are there a number of different species affected?
3) Is there an unusual color or odor to the water?
4) Are there any other dead organisms (i.e. amphibians, reptiles, insects, or plant life) present?

If a fish kill is observed it should be reported immediately to the 24/7 DEP Hotline at 877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337).

Environmental observations during a fish kill are the most important factor in determining the cause. It is helpful to document important observations by way of the Fish Kill Reporting Form (pdf, 90kb).

Please submit the Fish Kill Reporting Form to Dr Lovy:

Dr. Jan Lovy,
NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife
Office of Fish & Wildlife Health & Forensics
605 Pequest Rd
Oxford, NJ 07863
Office Tel: 908-637-4173 ext. 120
Cell: 609-358-1027

Contact Dr. Lovy if you have questions or need additional information.

Fish Kill Reporting Form (pdf, 90kb)

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Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: August 2, 2013