State wildlife officials are still trying to determine what killed thousands of fish in the Red River.
The fish kill was first reported last week but fish were still dying in the river as of Tuesday, although the rate of deaths has slowed, said Gene Gilliland, assistant chief of fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The fish kill has occurred primarily along a 70 mile stretch of the river that borders Love County.
State wildlife officials first suspected the cause was depleted oxygen levels in the water, something that is not unusual late in the Oklahoma summer when there is excessive heat and no rain.
However, the fish kill on the Red River continued to progress downstream leading state wildlife officials to believe something else may be to blame.
“This one on the Red is puzzling,” Gilliland said. “It wasn’t acting like a normal oxygen depletion. This thing is moving.”
Water samples and fish tissue samples have been sent to various agencies in Oklahoma and Texas for testing.
“It’s still such an unknown,” Gilliland said. “We are trying to figure out what is going on and if there is anything we can do.”
Most of the fish that have been lost are rough fish like buffalo, but channel and blue catfish also have died.