Bad algae outbreak killing off fish?
Thousands of dead fish have been found washed up on the shores of the Mississquoi Bay in the Montérégie region south of Montreal, and a really bad algae outbreak appears to be behind it.
Real Pelletier, mayor of the the St. Armand municipality which includes Philipsburgh, said the fish appear to have been caught up in the effects of last year's flooding and this year's dry spell, a perfect breeding ground for the algae.
"The lake this year, (it's the) total opposite of last year. Last year, we reached a record height of 103 feet and six inches, and now we're at 94 feet, so we're almost 10 feet difference from last year," Pelletier told CJAD News.
Pelletier said in 20 years of living along the shores of the Mississquoi, he's never seen so many dead fish on the shore, with a smell worse than usual, like a septic tank.
"That's why I'm wondering if this time it's only because of the algae."
Pelletier said town workers alerted him last week.
"They had called me saying there was a big green, there was a really thick cloud coming in the water, with some white foam which I'd never seen before," Pelletier said.
Pelletier said he's meeting with environment officials who'll be conducting more tests. In the meantime, he said they won't be cleaning up the dead fish because of health concerns.
Photos: Michael Strato