By Dillon Thomas

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A large number of fish have died off in the Cache la Poudre River and now Colorado Parks and Wildlife is trying to solve the mystery behind the deaths.

“It is a major die off; we are talking in the thousands. It is not just a couple of fish,” said Jason Clay, spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

cpw Trout, Carp Among Fish Die Off In Poudre River

(credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Clay said the die off affected several species in the Poudre River west of Fort Collins, which raised concerns for investigators.

poudre fish kill 5pkg frame 309 Trout, Carp Among Fish Die Off In Poudre River

(credit: CBS)

“There was no one specific fish that was effected. There’s been carp; there’s been trout that has died,” Clay said.

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Jason Clay with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (credit: CBS)

The department tweeted that workers are sampling water. They are focused on a stretch of river from Linden Street to Timberline Road.

poudre fish kill 5pkg frame 369 Trout, Carp Among Fish Die Off In Poudre River

(credit: CBS)

Clay said there were several possibilities as to what caused the die off, including natural and human involvement.poudre fish kill 5pkg frame 189 Trout, Carp Among Fish Die Off In Poudre River

Thermal shock was one natural possibility, which Clay said would involve the recent fluctuation in temperature in Colorado. That, combined with low flow, could have caused oxygen levels to drop to fatal levels.

poudre fish kill 5pkg frame 1139 Trout, Carp Among Fish Die Off In Poudre River

(credit: CBS)

Clay said investigators were also looking in to whether or not nearby businesses, and construction, could have played a role in the die off.

“Maybe there is construction in the area, something got in the water,” Clay said.

poudre fish kill 5pkg frame 957 Trout, Carp Among Fish Die Off In Poudre River

(credit: CBS)

If humans were to blame for the die off, Clay said citations would likely be issued.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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