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Drought Blamed for Dead Fish

Drought Blamed for Dead Fish

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- Brookside residents living along the Santa Clara River, just below Baker Reservoir, have found dozens of dead trout along the river.

Jim McMahon said his son counted 46 dead fish Sunday on their 150 feet of property that lines the riverbank.

"If (the water level) keeps dropping we could lose our water supply this summer," McMahon said. "It's a very bad sign not only for the fish, but also for the people who live up here."

John Schijf, Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer, said the fish deaths are a result of the low river flow rates and hot weather.

"If we weren't having a drought or any competing interests for the water, we wouldn't have the problem of dead fish," he said.

Santa Clara River water commissioner Rod Leavitt said, "We don't have water to irrigate. We have plenty of drinking water in most places but all irrigation has been curtailed to a minimum."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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