Thousands of dead fish float to surface in Box Elder County

Local News

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah (News4Utah) – Thousands of carp have been found dead in a small body of water in Box Elder county. 

“You kind of walk out, and you get this wall of fish smell,” said Jaxon McFarland, who lives nearby.

“This is the first time I’ve ever experienced this,” he added.

This area is Horseshoe Sloughs, near the Bear River. In recent days, dead fish started appearing on the surface of the shallow water.

“There’s a depletion of oxygen and the carp just cannot survive,” said Phil Douglass with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

He says the body of water is used for irrigation purposes. And, because we’ve had such a dry summer, nearby farmers have legally tapped into it to irrigate their crops.

But the low water, and high heat, have had a devastating impact on the carp there. Thousands of fish have died.

“From my perspective, there was nothing that was done wrong,” said Douglass.

He says after an investigation, his agency found nothing illegal. 

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