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Dead fish, birds found at federal wildlife refuge in Twin Cities

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the fish likely died due to a lack of oxygen.
Ducks and trumpeter swans picture in January at Blue Lake.

Ducks and trumpeter swans picture in January at Blue Lake.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responding to a number of dead fish and wildfowl at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in the southern Twin Cities.

Bring Me The News reached out to the federal department after a member of the Minnesota Naturalists Facebook group shared a picture of a sign posted at Blue Lake, saying the area was closed down "due to reports of dead waterfowl and fish."

Dale Carlson noted he had seen a number of "dead swans and mallards" in the area recently, and had also seen such birds eating fish from the waters at the refuge.

But the refuge says that the deaths of the fish is likely to be the result of a lack of oxygen in the water, though its lab results are "still inconclusive at this time."

"The lab results also confirmed that the wildlife deaths were not caused by a disease, like avian cholera," a spokesperson added.

In response to the fish deaths, the FWS says it will be working to raise waters levels of the lake in an effort to increase oxygen levels, and will continue to monitor the situation.

The lake is situated next to a wastewater treatment plant, and while the FWS said it's been in "close communication" with the plant, it "didn’t note any changes in their normal protocols."

Blue Lake is in the Shakopee area, part of the Wilkie Unit of the wildlife refuge, which follows the Minnesota River from Bloomington to the Carver/Jordan area.

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