Date: 3/9/18 10:16 pm From: Kelly McAllister <mcallisters4...> Subject: RE: [Tweeters] Strange Mallard Deaths at Gog-le-hi-te Wetlands Tacoma
When I was the District Wildlife Biologist for Thurston and Pierce Counties I investigated a duck (I think it was mallard and wigeon) and turtle die-off at Wapato Lake. The assumption, among the waterfowl biologists, was Botulism. The turtles, though, were puzzling. At least, I don't remember hearing anything about turtles being vulnerable to Botulism. I wondered about toxic algal blooms and Wapato Lake seemed like it was a good candidate, highly enriched with a variety of sources of nitrogen and phosphorus. I remember the toxicology work on the turtles was not terribly conclusive, poor body condition and protozoan infection. I don't remember if the WSU poultry lab in Puyallup came back with anything useful on the waterfowl. Somewhere I have a picture of the lineup of sliders I collected for necropsy that day, five or six I think. It's not a pretty sight to walk around a lake and see dead things all along the way. I think of these things being a risk during the warm days of summer, not the waning days of winter.