The MPA spoke again with the biologist, Richard Hartley, from Mass Fish and Game as property owners around the lake report dead fish continue to wash ashore.
Specifically, he said we can expect this to take several weeks to run its course. No need to report more dead fish as they have record of the kill. We should call Mass Wildlife if we observe something new or a change in the composition of the kill – for example: all ages of fish not just adults and/or a majority of another species other than bluegills.
He also said that this summer we may see smaller kills as our waterlevel is low and shallow areas have great weed growth (The dam owner kept the water exceptionally high this winter failing to do the lake level drawdown for aquatic weed control which they have done for years) which will mean depressed O2 levels in the early morning hours in the cove areas.
In addition to more fish kills, other amphibians are in jeopardy as is evident with our spring peepers. These tiny frogs reproduce in the cove areas which act as vernal pools (wet in spring and dry in summer). Having been dry this summer – no peepers in two of our coves and a reduced population in a roadside wetlands.
Next our state biologist predicts terrestrial/land plants filling in beach/shore areas which are usually underwater.
A huge thanks to our state’s Dept. of Fish and Game: their biologists who are on call and provide expert advice, their monthly epublication MASSWildlife, and the dept. willingness to get involved, serve as a resource and document what is going on here on Manchaug Pond. THANKS!