LAKE ORION, Mich. (AP) — State officials are investigating the deaths of hundreds of adult common carp at an Oakland County lake.

Carp in Water | Credit: Michal Medek

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources said between 250 and 500 of the fish have been found dead since mid-July in Lake Orion, northwest of Detroit. Area residents reported the dead fish to the state agency.

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DNR fisheries division staff collected samples July 23 for analysis at the Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory at Michigan State University. Some initial findings are expected next week. A complete set of results should be available in early September.

DNR fisheries division research program manager Gary Whelan said single-species mortality events typically are caused by a specific fish pathogen that is often a virus.

“Fish kills involving one type of fish are usually not associated with a water quality issue, as water quality issues affect the entire fish community,” he said.

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Common carp are very tolerant of poor water quality, Whelan added.

“Thus, it is even more unlikely to be a water quality issue,” he said.

Native to Europe, common carp were introduced to Michigan in the late 1870s-1880s as a food fish and now are found throughout the state.

The DNR said it strongly recommends that all freshwater fish should be fully cooked to ensure they are safe to consume.

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