Growing up a lot of people's first pets are goldfish. They are easy to care for as all you really have to do is make sure it has clean water and food. Plus they generally don't require a trip to the vet. But these tiny fish have caused a big stink in our area lakes.

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The Lake City DNR office recently took a trip to Cannon Falls to figure out why dead fish were washing up on the shores of Lake Byllesby. There the team collected samples and brought them to the agency's pathology lab and to the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Research Center at the University of Minnesota.

The labs confirmed that the fish died from infection with the koi herpes virus, which only afflicts common carp and koi, an ornamental member of the carp family raised in East Asia for centuries and kept by some people in aquariums and outdoor ponds.

As you can guess a bunch of dead fish floating in a lake isn't great to look at, and after a few hours in the sun, they can begin to stink.

The virus kills carp by damaging their gills and skin. Thankfully the virus cannot be transferred to humans or to other animals. The virus has been detected at other southern Minnesota lakes, including Jonathan, Washington, Elysian, Tetonka, Gorman, Dora, Sabre, and Cottonwood.

So what do you do if you have a large fish kill on your lake? The DNR wants to remind property owners if they have dead fish on their shoreline that they can bury them or leave them for other wildlife to consume. The DNR does not collect and remove dead fish.

So if your goldfish lasts longer than a week and you no longer care to have it around, donate it rather than turning it loose in an area lake. A recent lake capture near Albert Lea was a koi that was 9 to 11 inches long.

Source: Star Tribune