Hundreds of dead white bass littered the shorelines of Indian Lake this past weekend, and the cause of the mass fish kill is not known.
Other species appear not to have been impacted, so it's unlikely that the water quality is the problem, according to Rich Carter, executive administrator for fish management and research at the Ohio Division of Natural Resources.
ODNR received multiple reports since Thursday from anglers reporting the site of hundreds of white bass, dead and floating along the banks of Indian Lake, a 5,800-acre resevoir and weekend destination for people in Logan County and western Ohio.
The preliminary estimate is that several hundred to one thousand white bass are dead.
Carter said they'll be testing the water quality, but they may never be able to know what caused the fish to die.
He said it's likely to be "spawning-induced mortality," in which fish in a weakened state do not survive reproduction activities.
"If they're in a weakened condition from a long winter perhaps, or they may have a virus to cause weakening, then when they spawn they use up all their energy to spawn and can't recover," Carter said.
Carter added that species-specific fish kills are not uncommon. They happen every year at lakes across the state, he said.
The dead white bass are expected to decompose and sink to the bottom, to become food for turtles, other fish and wildlife.