AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is investigating a large fish kill in Lake Auburn caused by a lack of oxygen.

The fish kill, which began late last week, involves lake trout or togue, some suckers and other deep-dwelling lake fish.

Regional fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam says the lack of dissolved oxygen in the cooler, deeper parts of the lake causes fish to suffocate.

The Auburn Water District and Lewiston Water Division are cooperating with state biologists to monitor increased algae activity on Lake Auburn. Public drinking water quality has not been affected. The intake pipe for Lewiston and Auburn is located in shallow water and having normal oxygen readings.

Lake Auburn has long been a good lake trout fishery with high water quality. But it’s been added to the state’s watch list as a result of deteriorating water quality and fall algae bloom.

Freshwater algae blooms are caused by increased nutrients and grow quickly, but are short-lived and the resulting decay consumes significant quantities of dissolved oxygen, robbing it from other plants and animals, including cold-water fish that are high oxygen-dependent, according to the department.

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