WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – In recent weeks, Seneca Lake has been filled with hundreds of dead fish along its shores. 

If you’ve ever spent time in downtown Watkins Glen, there’s a good chance you’ve stopped at Seneca Harbor Park. The park sits on the shores of Seneca Lake. Many visitors take their families and pets here. Recently, the shallow waters neighboring the park have been filled with hundreds of dead fish, leaving many to ask: why are they dying?

“The DEC found a common parasite and a bacteria contributed to a large fish die-off in Seneca Lake. Fisheries staff collected samples after being notified about the lake-wide die-off. Samples were analyzed by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and determined to be caused by Chilodonella and Aeromonas Hydrophila. Neither have human health impacts,” said Andrea Pedrick, Office of Communication Services, Region 8.

Chilodonella is a common parasite found in most waters. Aeromonas Hydrophila is a bacteria that causes a disease in fish called Motile Aeromonas Septicemia.

A similar die-off was attributed to a Chilodonella in Seneca Lake in 2017. No significant impact to fish population was noted in the ongoing incident. The DEC encourages anyone that encounters a dead fish or has any questions to contact region 8 fisheries at (585) 226-5343 or fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.