To the Editor:
Thank you so much for posting our Letter to the Editor regarding dead channel catfish in the Fox River.
After sending our letter, we did receive a response from both Fox Waterway Agency and IDNR for our area.
1. From Rob Bowman, Fox Waterway Agency: I had forwarded your concern to Frank Jakubicek, the IDNR fisheries biologist for Northern Illinois whose response I had forwarded to you. Frank and I also chatted on the phone where he had said there are a number of things that could cause it but there is no way to really know for sure at this point.
Could be some things such as low oxygen or fertilizer runoff after the recent rain or an unreported herbicide treatment in the area. Without witnessing someone do something that could cause it, there is no way to really know with certainty.
If you see any suspicious activity such as dumping etc, please report that.
2) Response from Frank Jakubicek, IDNR, via Rob Bowman
Catfish are pretty tough fish and spawn when the water temperatures are in the 80s. Spawning stress is always a possibility. It’s also possible there was a herbicide treatment somewhere on the vicinity and oxygen levels dropped low enough to suffocate fish in the area.
I’m not aware of any herbicide treatments, via the LOP process, but it doesn’t mean one didn’t happen or that some herbicides may have flushed into the area following our recent rains causing the same effect. We appreciated the response of our governmental officials recognizing the concern of citizens for our environment.
Jim and Terri Dawson