WYMORE, NEB. - A large fish kill, affecting all species in the lake, has occurred at Big Indian Recreation Area south of Wymore in Gage County.  

Reports prompted Nebraska Game and Parks to visit the lake on July 1, where they observed numerous dead fish of all species. Dissolved oxygen was tested, confirming extremely low levels in the lake caused the fish kill.

“Unfortunately, many water bodies are susceptible to summertime fish kills given the right sequence of weather events,” said Tony Barada, a Game and Parks fisheries assistant administrator.

Extreme heat and sunshine likely contributed to a large algal bloom that died back once the hot weather rolled out and the clouds and cooler temperatures rolled in. When algae die, the bacteria that consumes it also consumes oxygen. When the algal die-off is excessive, it can cause fish kills.

The recreation are, including the 77-acre lake, is managed by the Lower Big Blue Natural Resources District. 

Game and Parks’ fisheries staff will continue to evaluate the situation in the coming weeks to determine future management steps for the fishery.