N.M. investigates catfish deaths at Ute Lake

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Department of Game and Fish biologists aren't sure what killed dozens of catfish in Ute Lake.

The catfish were found floating in the eastern New Mexico lake near Tucumcari about a week after underwater blasting was conducted for construction of a water project.

However, department Fisheries Chief Mike Sloane says there's no conclusive link between the blasting and the fish kill.

The blasting killed numerous other fish but only one catfish were found immediately after the blast.

Sport Fish Program Manager Eric Frey says it's possible that the catfish which died later were injured from a shockwave from the underwater blast.

But he says other possible causes include toxins in the water, and more common natural causes such as disease, parasites, stress or even lightning.

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