Game and Fish investigates waterfowl die-off at Ocean Lake

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department investigated a waterfowl die-off at Ocean Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Personnel discovered 77 dead mallard ducks and one afflicted Canada goose that was euthanized. 

These birds were collected and some of them will be disease tested at the Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory for potential causes of the die-off. To reduce the number of waterfowl congregating in the area, the aerator at Ocean Lake has been turned off. Turning off the aerator will close the open water and encourage the birds to move on.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds people to continue to report clusters of dead birds to their nearest Game and Fish regional office and reminds hunters to take specific precautions when handling wildlife.

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These recommendations come from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s general safety guidelines for hunters handling wildlife and their tissues:

  • Do not handle or eat sick game.
  • Field dress and prepare game outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear rubber or disposable nitrile gloves while handling or cleaning game.
  • When done handling game, wash hands thoroughly with soap or disinfectant and clean knives, equipment and surfaces that come in contact with game.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while handling animals.
  • Do not feed sick/found dead carcasses/tissues to domestic animals — such as dogs and cats.
  • All game should be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before being consumed.

If you have any questions, please call the Lander Regional Office at 307-332-2688.

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