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BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — State wildlife officials say the death toll of whitefish in the Yellowstone River could be much higher than what’s already been counted.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports ( ) that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks had counted about 1,000 dead fish as of Monday. Agency spokeswoman Andrea Jones says there could be more than 10,000 dead fish, as some may have sunk to the bottom or been eaten by scavengers.

The mountain whitefish, which is a native species to Montana, have been found dead on the river’s east and west banks.

Officials are working to determine the cause of the die-off.

Jones says fish samples have been sent to a lab for testing while the Department of Environmental Quality is testing water samples for anything that might cause human health concerns.


Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle,