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Iowa DNR Claims Columnaris Affecting Mississippi River Fish

iowa
Luke Magray

Catfish being caught in the Mississippi River in Iowa are looking pretty rough.

Several folks in Keokuk have come across fish that look dead with nasty skin problems. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources examined the video and says the catfish are infected by a bacteria known as columnaris.

When infected, the DNR says the fish suffer from skin lesions and necrosis.

Luke Magray caught the fish and took the video. He says he thought the fish may have been hit by a boat prop. The Iowa DNR says the catfish are really susceptible to the bacteria this time of year. The water is warm, and the fish are wrapping up spawning.

That means male catfish are fighting. This causes open wounds, and the bacteria rushes right in.

Unfortunately, the bacteria is common in water with high temperatures and low oxygen levels, like at this time of the year.

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Iowa DNR Claims Columnaris Affecting Mississippi River Fish