Extensive Fish Kill Reported at Nebraska Lake

A fish kill at Pibel Lake in southern Wheeler County has affected a variety of sport fish and set back the size quality of fish in the popular fishing spot.

Thousands of largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and channel catfish died June 21-22 in the 25-surface-acre lake south of Bartlett. High water temperature combined with a rapid die-off and decay of aquatic vegetation resulted in extremely low dissolved oxygen levels in the lake.

The kill affected larger size fish in each species. A sampling conducted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission after the kill showed a good number of smaller sized bass and bluegill survived.

The remaining fish should grow rapidly, and the fishery is expected to recover. However, anglers should note the quality size of fish in the lake will be set back for a year or two. The fishery will be monitored accordingly.

The lake is owned and maintained by the Lower Loup Natural Resources District and is a popular fishing stop for area anglers and travelers.

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