Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (July 22, 2010) - The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources are investigating what appears to be a localized, sustained fish kill in Deep Creek Lake, Garrett County.

At this time, no evidence suggests a threat to human health; however, visitors and residents are advised to avoid touching, swimming with, or coming into close proximity to any dead fish. MDE and DNR are consulting with state and local public health agencies.

Local residents and visitors are urged to contact MDE at 443-482-2732 with reports of dead fish as well as information about anything out of the ordinary that may have contributed to the ongoing incident.

The cause of the fish kill is currently unknown, and a thorough investigation by MDE and DNR is underway, which includes water quality testing and a diagnostic analysis of affected fish species. To date, no evidence of a toxic or hazardous chemical spill has been found. Evidenced by the large adult fish species that have been affected, the focus of the investigation is on the deeper portions of the lake. At this time, the shallower waters do not appear to be affected.

To date, MDE and DNR are reporting approximately 200 dead fish, including yellow perch, walleye, smallmouth bass, brown bullhead, largemouth bass, bluegills, chain pickerel, Northern pike, and crayfish.

Marylanders can report fish kills and algae blooms anytime at 1-866-MDE-GOTO or 877-224-RBAY.