- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - State wildlife officials are working to figure out why black crappie have been dying in the Bailey Reservoir south of Havre.

The Billings Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/28PsGpU ) that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks crews responded to a report of dead crappie on June 6. They found 25 fish dead along the bank of the reservoir.

Staff from the agency suspect that it is a species-specific die-off targeting only spawning-age crappie. Recent surveys indicate that younger crappies, yellow perch and northern pike in the reservoir are unaffected.

Fisheries biologist Cody Nagel says in a news release that black crappie nearing the peak of their spawn can experience increased vulnerability to parasites and other health-related issues.

A similar die-off of crappie took place in Tongue River Reservoir in 2014.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com

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