News from the DNR Office of Communications

State Investigating Ongoing Fish Kill in Deep Creek Lake

Residents, Visitors Urged to Avoid Contact with Dead Fish and Report Information

BALTIMORE, MD (July 22, 2010) — The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are investigating what appears to be a localized, sustained fish kill in Deep Creek Lake, Garrett County.

At this time, no evidence suggests a threat to human health; however, visitors and residents are advised to avoid touching, swimming with, or coming into close proximity to any dead fish. MDE and DNR are consulting with state and local public health agencies. 

Local residents and visitors are urged to contact MDE at 443-482-2732 with reports of dead fish as well as information about anything out of the ordinary that may have contributed to the ongoing incident.  

The cause of the fish kill is currently unknown, and a thorough investigation by MDE and DNR is underway, which includes water quality testing and a diagnostic analysis of affected fish species. To date, no evidence of a toxic or hazardous chemical spill has been found. Evidenced by the large adult fish species that have been affected, the focus of the investigation is on the deeper portions of the lake. At this time, the shallower waters do not appear to be affected.

To date, MDE and DNR are reporting approximately 200 dead fish, including yellow perch, walleye, smallmouth bass, brown bullhead, largemouth bass, bluegills, chain pickerel, Northern pike, and crayfish.

Marylanders can report fish kills and algae blooms anytime at 1-866-MDE-GOTO or 877-224-RBAY.

   July 22, 2010

Contact: Brandon Linton
410-260-8001 office

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at