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Algae bloom to blame in Md.’s largest fish kill this year

Officials say a lethal type of algae toxin is to blame for the largest fish kill in Maryland this year.

Maryland Department of the Environment investigators said Tuesday that up to 200,000 fish were found killed in the Upper Middle River and its tributaries last month by an algae bloom.

Officials say they found no evidence that the fish kill was caused by chemicals.

The agency says the type of algae blamed in the fish kill, called Karlodinium venficum, damages a fish’s gills so that it can’t take in oxygen. The algae may have bloomed in the warmer waters this fall, then died off when the temperature dropped, releasing the fatal toxin.

The fish killed include largemouth bass, yellow perch and bluegills, among several others.