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Published March 20 2012

Thousands of fish die in Pelican River

ORR, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources suspects low oxygen levels caused thousands of fish to die in the Pelican River over the past several days.

A DNR fisheries crew paddled the river by canoe Monday to assess the extent of the fish kill near Orr. Fisheries supervisor Kevin Peterson said it stretches about 2 miles, from the dam at St. Louis County Highway 23 downstream past Highway 53.

Peterson said the dead fish include northern pike, smallmouth bass, bluegills, yellow perch, black crappies and bullheads.

He said that low water levels last fall probably exacerbated reduced oxygen levels. Many streams and lakes were at low levels as winter arrived.