How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP Your Own...
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience:  DVM 2000, Specialist in Canine and Feline Practice, DABVP, since 2009
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

should i remove dead fish fom my 4 acre pond after a summerkill

This answer was rated:

should i remove dead fish fom my 4 acre pond after a summerkill ?
I'm sorry to hear about the loss.

Can you tell me the type of fish and suspected cause of death, and approx. how many fish have been killed?

I am not personally a fish expert, but I have access to several fish-exclusive veterinarians and I am happy to find the answers you need. If you would rather work directly with someone who sees only fish, let me know and I will opt out and you can wait for their assistance.

Laura Devlin
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

They are mostly very small sunfish and bass mixture, I contacted the DNR in our area by phone and they said there was a high number of cases of this in WV and Oh. so far this year, the cause was lack of oxegyn. I googled it and I got the info of "Summerkill" and also in winter "Winterkill", both lack of oxegyn. My pond is about 250' long x 80' wide and one end 150' wide, and if I were to guess aprox. 150/175 fish.

Thank you for the additional information. Let me see what I can find out and I'll be back with you shortly.

Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
I've researched your question through VIN and recommendations by Dr. Scott Weber at UC Davis.

He has several recommendations for this situation:

If possible, removal of dead fish and any sick fish should be performed.

While summerkill is possible, the factors contributing to summerkill can also stress the fish, causing them to be more susceptible to disease. It is recommended to have 1 or 2 recent kills necropsied with tissue samples and also, if possible, to have any live or dying fish examined and tested with skin scrapings and gill wet-preps specifically looking for ectoparasites and impression smears for bacteria and fungi.

UC Davis offers extensive testing of fish - you may also want to contact a regional aquaculture center for recommendations for necropsy services.

It sounds like you've been doing alot of reasearch, but please let me know if I can help with anything else. Best luck,
Laura Devlin
I spoke with a friend of mine who works with a local fishery here in TN.

She believes summerkill is most likely, also, and we have seen many incidences here.

She thinks it would be helpful if the fish are easily removable, but may not be necessary.

Please let me know how else I can help.

I'm going to post this as an information request so you are not prompted to hit accept again.
Laura Devlin
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Dr. Laura Devlin,


Thank you for all your help and info., the fish has been in there since Friday evening and we ran out of daylight yesterday evening working at the horse barn. My sons and I are going to try to remove as many of them that we can this evening, we were going to put them in the loader bucket and dump them back in our woods far away from the the pond. Thought that it would be good coyote food, but was worried may make them sick so do you think we should bury them or just spread them on the ground?


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX

Hi Bink,

I would bury them if you could.

Here's some info you may have found with you researching, but I thought I would pass it on.


Thank you so much,


Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you very much for the accepts and the bonus.

(I don't know if you intended to accept so many times - thank you if so. If not, you may wish to contact customer services, as they charge each time you hit accept. Thank you again,
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Sealed Oh, How many times did I hit it, sorry for the confussion !!!



Hi Bink,
The just answer site will prompt you to "accept" the question. You did, 3 x instead of once. Sometimes clients will accept more then once because they want to pay extra, but I wanted to make sure you were aware.

You can contact customer service for a refund. I can't do anything on my end, but I did want to let you know just in case. So sorry if there was confusion.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.



Sorry I meant to do it twice, I put the first amount in and noticed I did not rate your reply

and also meant to put in $50.00. So I will call them and I really enjoyed chatting with you

and getting you knowledge. Hope to talk when I need help again, have a great day.


Thanks BinkSmile

Thank you Bink! Me too. I hope they get everything worked out for you.

I wish you the best luck with your pond and fish. We have a small pond on our property, but it is not spring-fed, and dries up in the summer.

Thanks again!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.



Hey I need your advise or direction, I have two new baby ferrets 15 weeks now. when I got them they were almost 12 weeks and just in one week they were litter trained, and even in our bathroom where we keep the cat litter, we turn them lose in there and when they have to use the bathroom they run to the cat litter pan. i bought them a two story cage and they were using there litter pan until last week I bought some litter in bulk made of news paper called "Old News" and they did not like it and it was dusty and smelled. They stopped using the litter pan and going in the corner of there cage, I changed back and they now just sleep in there clean litter and go in the corners, it has been 5 days now and I'm pulling my hair out. I even put cat litter in there litter pan today and one did start using it but the other still went in the corner. might be on the right path but not sure if they could be around normal cat litter that much. One girl named Girddy and a boy named Bear, I need help on getting them back on the litter, any Ideas?

Thanks Bink

Hi Bink! It's good to hear from you!

My computer battery just crashed and we are on the road back from ky. I borrowed my husbands iPhone!

Lots of the little ferrets go through house training challenges and can regress as they mature. Common to toss littter, not use the box, etc.

You may want to resume the pelleted litter or strips( not clumping) and even try two low- sided boxed if they will fit. Some clients have had to wire the boxes in place and make one a bed and another for litter.

You can put a little urine-soaked litter in the proper box to encourage use of that. Are the boxes low aided and in a corner or against a wall?

I'll be back tomorrow! Have a great night with the new babies- so cute!
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.



I have tried the old litter (pellets) and even put the urine in it. They only use it 30% of the time and are still going on the cage floor. Is there a spray that would detour them from going on the floor corner? They are really good about going in the cats litter pan in our bathroom, but had an accident Sunday. We love these little guys, they are so much fun but want to try to train them without scolding. They are getting the hang of "NO" by just being consistent and picking them up and rerouting what ever they are getting into. My wife gets a kick out of me a grown man having pet ferrets, she trains horses and teaches kids to ride Western and English. If you have any Ideas I would greatly appreciate it,

I just want to get them on the right path before it gets out of hand.


Thanks Bink

Hi Bink!

That does sound funny. :) A tough guy with the little cute ferrets.

Is it possible to cover the cage floor so that it is either a litter box or bed box? The floor may need to be cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner such as nature's miracle, also, to help remove residual odor.

You will need to try to catch them in the act as much as possible in order to consistenly train, then give your "no" and place into the box, following with praise. Confinement or complete will be needed until they are consistently using their box.

Since they typically have to go shortly after waking and then 10-15 minutes after drinking, you can place him in the box at those times, again, with lots of praise and a favorite treat.

towels, t-shirts or other items where he is going might help? Also will be quick to wash.

Some folks report they have more luck with a closed litter box... although everything I was taught said open.

Hmmm - I don't know of any other products you can apply to deter him that would be safe. I hope this helps! I hope he catches on quickly!

Related Pet Questions