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Beaver Dam construction project results in fish die off

BEAVER DAM, WI (AP and WI DNR) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says thousands of fish have died in Beaver Dam as a result of a culvert project.

On June 15, Officials lowered the water level in the Beaver Dam River so construction work could be done near the river.

Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen says the city followed DNR protocol by shutting water levels to the minimum level, but did not predict the impact on fish.

According to the Wisconsin DNR, up to 5,000 fish died, including northern pike, walleye, channel catfish, largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, black crappie, pumpkinseed, white bass, bigmouth buffalo, white sucker, bullhead, and common carp.  The DNR said the severely reduced water flow in the river, high water temperatures and associated low oxygen levels caused the die off.

DNR staff worked with the City of Beaver Dam’s Director of Utilities to release additional water from the dam to increase flows and water volume in the river.  Work at the Cooper Street construction site was ceased on Friday and by that evening, flows had increased and live fish were observed in the river.

DNR officials met with the city's utility director Monday to discuss what happened and to prevent it from happening again.

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