Skip to main content

An estimated 1,000 to 2,000 dead carp were found at Fountain Lake in Albert Lea, and experts say the cause of death is a species-specific strain of the herpes virus. 

According to the Lakes Foundation of Albert Lea, the Minnesota DNR pathology lab confirmed the deaths were caused by the koi herpes virus (KHV), which is a common carp-specific virus that doesn't impact humans or other fish species. 

"I had DNR staff on site Tuesday and they boated the entire perimeter of the lake and it was reported there were 1,000-2,000 common carp and a handful of catfish, largemouth bass, and black bullhead observed dead," a post on the Lakes Foundation of Albert Lea reads.

"However, we suspect those handful of other dead fish species (non-carp) were not related to this fish kill event. Unless something else shows up, we are confident this fish kill is exclusively common carp and caused by KHV."

It's unclear how common carp in Fountain Lake contracted the virus, but in 2017 thousands of carp died of KHV in Lake Elysian in Waseca County. The DNR and University of Minnesota said that outbreak was likely caused by someone releasing a pet goldfish or koi into the lake or a connecting waterway. 

Koi and common carp are known carriers of KHV, with the DNR saying goldfish can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. According to the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC), signs of KHV include white or gray lesions on the gills, hemorrhage on the skin and sunken eyes. 

Infected fish can die with 24-48 hours of symptoms appearing. 

KHV was first confirmed in Minnesota in 2009 in a backyard koi pond, while the 2017 outbreaks in Lake Elysian, Albert Lea Lake and other southern Minnesota lakes are the first known exposures to wild common carp, though the MAISRC notes that it's possible the virus had gone undiagnosed for years. 

KHV outbreaks are most likely to occur in Minnesota from late June to early August, when water temperatures are typically 70-76°F. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 3.36.57 PM

Scott County attorney candidates differ on marijuana possession

Scott County is one of a few Minnesota counties where the incumbent prosecutor is facing a challenger in November.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Teen charged in shooting outside of Richfield football game

Due to the age of the suspect, the case won't be made public.

Screen Shot 2020-02-06 at 9.05.08 AM

Twin Cities Summer Jam no more: popular festival brought to an end

The festival noted how the land they host camping on has recently been sold.


Expect major traffic delays on Renaissance Festival's final weekend

Scott County officials said road closures will be to blame.

Voting survey vote election

Ramsey County sends out ballots with deceased candidate on it

The county said it's addressing the issue with the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 12.30.28 PM

New haunted house experience coming to Inver Grove Heights

The exhibit will feature family-friendly and 18+ events.

Wayzata High School

Niche rankings identify best Minnesota schools, districts

Eden Prairie has schools ranked in both the private and public categories.


Walker, The Current announce end of Rock the Garden festival

The Walker Art Center and Minnesota Public Radio announced the festival will retire so the organizations can dream up new events.



Trucker dies after crashing into jackknifed semi trailer on I-35

The crash happened on an icy stretch of I-35 in southern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-05-02 at 6.56.02 AM

Albert Lea police searching for 19-year-old shooting suspect

He is considered a suspect in connection to a May 1 shooting in Albert Lea.

Javen Juan Moreno

Albert Lea shooting suspect arrested after 3 weeks on the run

He is accused of shooting a man in the upper thigh on May 1.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.

Fountain Lake Albert Lea

Body of missing 18-year-old pulled from southern MN lake

The teen was found in the Albert Lea lake on Sunday.

Australian company will harvest carp from Minnesota waters

MPR reports an Australian company is opening a carp-harvesting facility in Wabasha on Friday. The common carp is an invasive species here, but it's also a staple food on the other side of the world.

Watch: Tornado touches down in southern Minnesota

Minnesota Lake is between Mankato and Albert Lea.