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Thousands of fish die in Texas lake

Sept. 1, 2011 at 9:03 PM

GRAVEVINE, Texas, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Thousands of fish were killed in a Texas lake this week by a combination of high temperatures and low water and oxygen levels, wildlife officials say.

The total number of fish killed in Lake Grapevine, a few miles northwest of Dallas, was about 124,000, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said. Biologists said they died Monday and Tuesday when the high temperature at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport hit 103 degrees, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Biologist Melissa Dudley said almost all the casualties were threadfin shad, a 6-inch fish often used for bait. She said sampling of the dead fish found that less than 1 percent were game fish like smallmouth bass.

Tom Hungerford, a fisheries biologist, said the water temperature hit about 91 degrees Tuesday. As water heats up, it holds less dissolved oxygen, and the water level in the lake is also down more than 3 feet because of the prolonged drought.

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