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#550681 07/25/22 01:13 PM
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Seeing lots of dead sunfish all within the same size class on a daily basis. I'm noticing about 3-10 new dead fish daily around the outside of the pond. I have all size classes of sunfish from fry, 1", 2, 3 and up to maybe 8/9" but only seeing that ~3" class floating around the edge.

Water has been down a little and its been warm but get plenty of wind across the pond for aeration.

I did see one sunfish in the shallow barely swimming and upon closer inspection it was missing an eye so I tossed it out. By the time I see these dead fish the eyes are usually missing but sometimes not.


1/2 acre, no predators, just baitfish so far.

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Last edited by PAfarmPondPGH69; 07/25/22 01:50 PM.
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Still alive but missing an eye, and the dead ones are usually missing their eyes???

That's odd to say the least.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Yeah all the ones that have been dead a little bit (lost their color) are missing eyes. Enough color that I can hardly tell that they are sunfish, at least I think they are. I'll get a picture.

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Could be a fungus?

I think most of the time a fungus on BG is opportunistic. Meaning it occurs when the fish have already been subjected to a stressor.

Despite the wind, your oxygen levels may be low. Very warm water does not hold much dissolved oxygen.

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I was thinking fungus or virus. I thought it was strange to have all the same size of dead ones. I've attached a pic.

Last I checked the water is it was under 90 at the very top, much cooler a few feet down.

Pond often has ripples across from the wind and lack of closeby trees and I dont think it has too much biomass from what I can see.

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disease attacks the weak, generally. It is possible you had a massive year class last year and they are down on food items in the right size. I'm not saying they are starving but possibly have a weakened immune system-possibly.

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First year owning the pond so perhaps this is even typical, I dont know. It was entirely unmanaged likely for decades.

No shortage of sunfish or shiners so I'm not worried about losing a few dozen.

Last edited by PAfarmPondPGH69; 07/25/22 02:05 PM.
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Any chance a Great Blue heron is taking them out and their eye? Normally the GBH will punch holes in them and leave them in our pond.

They all so could have died a long time ago and have just enough bacteria now to float up to the surface.

Cheers Don.


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I did see that bugger trying to catch fish, along with some ringneck looking bird dive bombing. I didn't see any damage to the fish that would indicate that they were hit by the GBH though.

My pond pawtrol usually keeps the birds away.

Last edited by PAfarmPondPGH69; 07/25/22 02:38 PM.
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When I see dead minnows with eyes missing, to me that means that the fish that are alive are hungry - pecking at the corpse, the softest part are the eyes.


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