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People who live along False River woke up Saturday morning to find schools of dead fish floating along the banks of their properties. Some of the fish had washed up on private boat launches and docks overnight.
According to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist Manager for the Inland Fisheries Group, Brian Heimann, a cold front which came through the area this week caused the shallower areas of the lake to lose oxygen. He said the Threadfin Chad fish typically survive in the upper six to eight feet of lake waters.
"When you have a front roll through, it can pull the bad water up to the surface. Threadfin Chad swim in open water and are tender. They are typically the first ones to succumb to it," Heimann said.
The water levels in False River have been reduced by four feet since September when the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury voted earlier in 2016 to draw down the river by six feet to help revitalize the lake.
While Heimann said the move is not directly related to the death of the fish, it did result in less water in which for them to swim. He noted 95 percent of the fish the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries found dead on Saturday in the lake were Threadfin Chad. According to Heimann, False River is overpopulated with the species and there were already efforts underway to control the species' numbers.
"This is just nature's way of taking care of it," Heimann said. He also said the kill was confined to the north end of the lake.
There is no word on who will be responsible for removing the dead fish from the lake.