Skip to content

Government scientists can’t explain dead fish on Kootenay Lake shores

Bacteria, viruses, warm temperature and oxygen deficiency ruled out
A dead fish on the shore of Kootenay Lake on July 25, 2023. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Provincial government scientists have been unable to determine why an unusual number of dead fish appeared on the shores of Kootenay Lake over several weeks in July.

”The positive news is that there were no pathogenic bacteria or viruses found,” the Ministry of Forests told the Nelson Star in an email.

“However, the results leave us without definitive answers as previous tests ruled out potential causes such as water temperature or oxygen deficiencies.”

Following social media reports of dead fish along the lake shore near Nelson, a long-time resident told the Nelson Star on July 24 that he had never before seen such a concentration of dead fish in his lifetime.

The government email said no further tests would be done now, and that the ministry is monitoring the situation.


Environment ministry seeks cause of dead fish on Kootenay Lake shore near Nelson
Sign up for the Nelson Star’s newsletter here to have local stories delivered straight to your inbox every morning.

Bill Metcalfe

About the Author: Bill Metcalfe

I have lived in Nelson since 1994 and worked as a reporter at the Nelson Star since 2015.
Read more