More than 130 carp died near the head of Rabbit Gulch at Starvation Reservoir Aug. 6 and 7.
Eric Larson of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said the deaths were the result of the summer heat."Recent extremely hot weather and calm nights in association with a shallow, heavily vegetated bay resulted in a summer kill sometime late last week in the upper end of Rabbit Gulch," Larson said. "An estimated 100 to 130 carp were observed, although the total mortality was undoubtedly greater. No other game or native fish were observed; apparently carp were the sole species affected.
"The kill appeared to be the result of an instantaneous event. No stressed fish were observed near the surface, and all of the fish were at approximately the same stage of decomposition. All of the dead carp were adults, and although the wind scattered them throughout the reservoir, they were most heavily concentrated in Rabbit Gulch."
The division has discounted the possibility of an oil spill or other contamination because no flow or sign of flow was observed in Rabbit Gulch, he said.
Most likely the fish died because of oxygen depletion in the water caused by the combination of shallow water, vegetation and hot, calm weather.