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Swim ban lifted at Lake Mendocino

Lake Mendocino officials on Wednesday lifted the restrictions they placed on swimming following a massive carp die-off that began over the Memorial Day weekend.

The cause of the fish deaths remains undetermined but U.S. Army Corps officials who manage the reservoir said there have been no recent deaths and testing has determined the quality of the water is “acceptable.”

“We feel there is no further reason to prohibit swimming at this time,” said Supervisory Ranger Chris Schooley.

An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 carp died during the event.

Because it affected only carp, Corps officials believe the cause of the deaths was likely koi herpes virus, which also is suspected in the deaths of carp in other lakes throughout the country and Canada. Koi are a type of domesticated carp.

Wildlife officials were not concerned about the deaths because carp are an invasive species, likely introduced by people dumping their pet goldfish — another type of carp — into the lake.

Koi herpes virus is not believed to be harmful to humans, animals or non-carp fish.

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