DFO now leading investigation into Cardigan River fish kill

Staff from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans are now leading the investigation into why more than 300 fish have turned up dead in the Cardigan River this month.

The dead fish began showing up in the eastern Prince Edward Island river on June 7 near the 48 Road in Cardigan.

In a statement, a spokesperson for DFO said its staff were on site in Cardigan on that date and again on June 10.

The statement said staff took samples from the river to determine if there were any changes in water chemistry, and they are continuing those tests.

Samples of the dead fish are currently being analyzed
The dead fish included brook trout, rainbow trout, juvenile salmon and stickleback, according to P.E.I.'s Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action. (Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action)

DFO is working alongside staff from P.E.I.'s Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action.

"We continue to work with our partners to monitor the situation," the statement read.

Provincial officials previously told CBC News that the cause of the fish kill is still uncertain.

The province also said in a statement that the dead fish include brook trout, rainbow trout, juvenile salmon and stickleback.

Fish kills can happen for several reasons, including algal blooms, droughts, infectious diseases, or heavy rain washing silt into a shallow water system, possibly accompanied by traces of agricultural or industrial chemicals.