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IDEM Looking Into Wabash River Fish Kill

Andrea Pokrzywinski

The state is trying to figure out what’s killing fish in northeastern Indiana, near the source of the Wabash River.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management officials took samples from the river this week nad tests came back positive for a species of blue-green algae, which could be part of the problem.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management Spokesman Dan Goldblatt says they’ve confirmed there’s an algal bloom in the Wabash River.

"Oftentimes what happens with algal blooms and fish die off is that the algae die and microorganisms come to decompose their bodies they absorb a lot of oxygen from water and it’s actually lack of dissolved oxygen that kills the fish," Goldblatt says.

Goldblatt says there’s not a lot the state can do about algal blooms because they feed off nutrients which make their way into the river often – through fertilizer, waste and livestock runoff.

IDEM hopes to have test results in next week that will reveal whether there are any microtoxins in the river.