09/17/2014 08:40 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:55 EDT

Mysterious fish die-off at Pointe-Fortune worries sports fisherman

When Cody Goodwin and his fishing buddy got out of work early on Monday, they did what they usually did — go fishing.

They headed to their usual spot at Pointe-Fortune, on the Ottawa River just upstream from Rigaud and Lac des Deux Montagnes. They got out all their gear and started walking down to the water.

And that’s when they noticed the horrible smell.

Goodwin told CBC Daybreak host Mike Finnerty on Wednesday that he and his friend continued down to shore, only to notice some dead fish on the surface of the water and birds flying all around.

They looked around the corner and saw “dozens and dozens and dozens of dead fish.”

There were all kinds of fish, bloated and dead — pike, carp, bass, perch, rock bass.

He said they didn’t appear to have been mutilated.

Goodwin said he'd never seen anything like it.

Looking for answers

Goodwin called CBC Daybreak looking for help in finding answers. Perhaps it really was a natural occurrence, he said, but if it was contamination or another external force, he wanted people to know.  

Daybreak’s researchers reached out to the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, but didn’t receive a response before Wednesday’s interview. They did, however, reach out to local fishing guide “Freshwater” Phil Lumbroso.

He said at first blush there are a couple of possible scenarios. Dropping water levels or an algae bloom could have diminished the water’s oxygen levels, killing the fish.

Goodwin said he called Environment Canada for an answer but hasn’t heard back.

He did say the water levels haven’t dropped noticeably over the summer.

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