About the Fish Kill Hotline
The Fish Kill Hotline is a “citizen science” project that started in 1995. The hotline serves to alert FWC biologists to the potential outbreak of fish disease, abnormal or deformed fish, or the presence of harmful algal blooms such as red tide.
Reports form the hotline are sent to biologists in FWC’s Fish & Wildlife Health (FWH) group, in St. Petersburg. FWH biologists study disease and mortality in wild fish populations, and reports of dead and diseased fish to the FWC Fish Kill Hotline help us respond appropriately to disease events.
During large fish kill events, FWC researchers collaborate with partner agencies to investigate the cause of the fish kill. The hotline helps FWC scientists determine where to allocate our sampling effort to collect the most timely data These data are then communicated to local agencies and government to help guide response effort and guide policy decisions.
Please keep in mind that while the FWC seeks reports of fish kills for research purposes, the agency does not oversee private water systems or cleanup procedures. Typically, private system fish kill reports are forwarded to the Home Owners Association (HOA) or the caller is advised to contact a private lake maintenance company. FWH staff provide assistance to the report initiator with information on fish kills, provide the phone numbers to various partner agencies and offer educational brochures. FWH will respond to an event in a private water system, under the following circumstances:
- Dead birds or other dead wildlife
- At the Request from another agency
- Human/domestic animal health issues