Parish officials say 11 dolphins may have died from freshwater incursion after spillway opening

CHALMETTE, LA – Eleven dead dolphins have been found in St. Bernard Parish in the past week, and three sick dolphins have been spotted, putting officials on alert as they work to determine what is happening.

Two dead dolphins were found near the MRGO and Lake of Two Trees last week, according to St. Bernard Parish officials.

Local boaters, responding to a request for help from the parish, soon identified nine additional dolphin carcasses.

Parish officials have notified the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Sea Grant, and the Audubon Gulf Network of the ongoing dolphin deaths.

“Preliminary feedback from LDWF and others suggests that area dolphins may be suffering from freshwater lesions as a result of the recent influx of freshwater associated with the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway,” parish officials said in an email.

The three sick dolphins spotted in St. Bernard all suffered from symptoms of freshwater lesions.

The St. Bernard Parish Government is requesting that anyone who has recently encountered expired or sick dolphins send contact executive director of coastal operations John Lane at jlane@sbpg.net with the date and location of the sighting, including GPS coordinates, as well as pictures or descriptions of the dolphins.

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