Dead perch at C.J. Strike res.

Question:

Went fishing today at C.J. Strike and noticed several dead and dying perch. All were around five inches long. Most were dead but I noticed one upside down swimming in tight circles. Any idea whats killing them and are other fish safe to eat?

Answer:

This time of the year, we always receive reports of dead yellow perch on various waters throughout Idaho.  Typically, the mortality is tied to post-spawning stress.  Think of it this way, first-time spawning perch put a tremendous amount of energy and body reserves into producing eggs.  Some of these fish don't have the energy to recover.  

If it were a toxin or an environmental issue, you would see other species of dead fish (crappie, bass, trout, etc.). The fish are probably safe to eat, but, I wouldn't recommend collecting the perch for that purpose.

Regardless, we will have someone do some sleuthing to confirm this is the cause of the yellow perch mortality.