CLEVELAND - Investigating agencies in Canada are offering a possible explanation after thousands of fish washed-up dead in Lake Erie, but they are not providing definitive answers.
Rick Nicholls, Member of Provincial Parliament for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, attended a meeting on Saturday with members of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Nicholls wrote, the agencies did not have “final” conclusions as to the cause of death of the fish.
On the weekend of September 1, thousands of fish washed up along a 25-mile stretch of Canada’s Lake Erie shore. The bodies of several seagulls were also found. Residents complained of an overpowering stench.
According to the data they gathered, Ministry officials said the recent weather, water quality and temperature, and rapid increases in algae growth can all be linked to water losing oxygen, which can cause fish to suffocate.
If it was a natural phenomenon that caused the fish to suffocate and die-off in mass amounts within a short time span, it is not clear what would have caused the seagulls to die. Nicholls earlier suggested the possibility that they could have gorged themselves on the sudden plentiful supply of dead fish.
But these explanations are not enough for Nicholls.
“I am continuing to investigate the cause or causes of the fish kill as I am continuing to receive many calls into my constituency office from residents who like myself, believe there is something far more reaching which caused the death of the fish,” he wrote.
Nicholls placed calls into the Canadian Coast Guard and several US agencies, in an effort to trace which commercials may have been in the area at the time of the incident.
No spills were reported, and the Ministries said their water samples proved negative for contamination.
“In a nutshell, I need more evidence and proof to not only satisfy my current skepticism but also that of the people who elected me to fight on their behalf,” Nicholls wrote.
No governing body has issued any sort of health alert for Lake Erie.
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