Surface Water Quality Bureau
Monitoring & Assessment
Aquatic Species Kills
in New Mexico
New Mexico Environment Department, Surface Water Quality Bureau in conjunction with New Mexico Game and Fish Area Operations Regional Offices investigates known aquatic species kills.
Aquatic species kills can be attributed to either human activities or natural causes. Generally, aquatic species kills in New Mexico are due to low dissolved oxygen, botulism, and algal blooms.
Many aquatic species kills are from unknown causes. This is generally due to kills not being reported to authorities quickly enough. Causes of kills, especially in streams and rivers, are generally short in duration. While this can still have large effects killing large numbers of individuals the cause may have disappeared by the time authorities can get to the scene. For this reason notifying the authorities must be done as soon as possible after a kill is seen or suspected. Whenever a kill occurs there is the chance that physical evidence of the cause of the kill is left behind. The sooner a kill is reported the better the chances of determining a cause.