What’s killing all the fish in a Mexican lake?

Written by on September 7, 2014 in Critter MIA, Rare Critters - No comments

Lake Cajititlán is in the centre of the country and now at the centre of a mystery that has baffled authorities.

Thousands of fish, tonnes of it, have suddenly died in the lake.

Nearly 50 tonnes of dead popoche chub fish, a species of freshwater fish, were removed last weekend from the lagoon in the central state of Jalisco.

Hundreds of thousands of fish were pulled from the lake by fishermen, firefighters, municipal workers and staff from the state agricultural ministry.

The fish corpses were buried in a pit. Over the last few months, a series of smaller waves of dead popoche chub have risen up to the lake’s surface. But nothing as dramatic as the tonnes that have now appeared.

The lakeside town of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, about a 25 minutes’ drive south of the city of Guadalajara, previously put the responsibility of the fish deaths on temperature variation and the lack of oxygen.

The state’s environment secretary last weekend ruled out natural causes. Magdalena Ruiz Mejia is pointing the blame at the town’s municipal waste water treatment facilities.

Others fault a nearby tequila distillery citing its waste stored in containers for draining into channels that feed into the lake.

Photo credit: Twitter

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