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Dead fish at White Park pond had bacterial infection

Fish have been dying in White Park pond for several days and nobody is sure why; Wednesday, May 29, 2013.

ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff

Fish have been dying in White Park pond for several days and nobody is sure why; Wednesday, May 29, 2013. ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff

Dead fish found in the pond at White Park had a bacterial infection, according to a report from the state.

Goldfish found floating in the pond last month were infected with a bacteria that’s common in warm and freshwater environments, the state wrote in its report. There is minimal risk to pets and humans.

About 100 dead fish were found floating in the pond late last month. Initial tests didn’t yield answers, until five dead goldfish were sent to the University of New Hampshire. There, veterinary pathologist Inga Sidor found a bacterial infection that’s formally called Aeromonas sp.

David Niels, head of biology for the Department of Environmental Services, wrote in his report to the city that it’s a disease typically associated with fish.

“Fancy goldfish, in particular, appear to be susceptible to these bacteria, especially after spawning,” Niels wrote.

City officials have said that they do not stock the pond; any fish found there were likely dumped into the water illegally.

Sidor’s finding of bacteria came after a number of water quality tests by the Department of Environmental Services. Water quality alone did not kill the fish, Niels found. But he said it could have been a contributing factor.

Only one of five water samples from the pond’s perimeter contained chlorine, Niels wrote.

“The pond’s water quality, while not ideal, does not appear to related . . . but could contribute to the overall stress of aquatic organisms,” Niels wrote.

Niels said more testing would be needed to determine the impact of the pond’s water quality.

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or
lmccrystal@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lmccrystal.)

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