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Published July 14, 2010, 10:31 AM

Pesticides not the cause of fishkill near Columbus

COLUMBUS, N.D. (AP) — A state official investigating a large fish kill at a popular reservoir in northwest North Dakota has ruled out pesticides.

COLUMBUS, N.D. (AP) — A state official investigating a large fish kill at a popular reservoir in northwest North Dakota has ruled out pesticides.

Mike Ell, environmental scientist with the state Health Department's water quality division, says the cause of the kill at Short Creek Reservoir still is not known but there are no detectable concentrations of pesticides in the water.

Ell also says there is no evidence that oil activity in the area added any unwanted substances to runoff from a heavy rain that preceded the die-off earlier this month.

Ell speculates that runoff high in organic matter depleted dissolved oxygen in the water, but more test results are needed to confirm that.

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