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Thousands of fish are dying in dried-up waterways

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Thousands of fish dyingThousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to nearly 100 degrees.

Biologists in Illinois said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and is threatening the population of the greater redhorse fish, a state-endangered species.

So many fish died in one Illinois lake that the carcasses clogged an intake screen near a power plant, lowering water levels to the point that the station had to shut down one of its generators.

"It's something I've never seen in my career, and I've been here for more than 17 years," said Mark Flammang, a fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "I think what we're mainly dealing with here are the extremely low flows and this unparalleled heat."

The fish are victims of one of the driest and warmest summers in history. The federal U.S. Drought Monitor shows majority of Illinois is experiencing severe drought, while nearly three-fourths of the state is experiencing extreme drought weather.


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