How to report fish die-off

Call the fish die-off line whenever you find numbers of dead or dying fish, particularly if the fish show signs of disease. This will help us:

  • understand diseases and how they spread
  • improve disease management
  • protect fish populations

If you discover a fish die-off, contact the:

Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Tel: 1-800-667-1940

If you suspect the fish died as a result of a spill, call the:

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Spills Action Centre
Tel: 1-800-268-6060

When you report a fish die-off, you will be asked for:

  • your name
  • address
  • phone number
  • details about the fish
  • the location of the fish

We will ask you details about the fish, including:

  • the kind of fish (baitfish or game fish)
  • the species, if you know it (such as walleye, bass)
  • how many (such as a dozen, a hundred, a thousand, thousands)
  • condition (such as dead, dying, decomposed)
  • visible signs of illness (such as pale gills, bloated abdomens, bulging eyes, bleeding)

We will ask you about the location and conditions where you found the fish, including:

  • waterbody (for example, Lake Scugog, Lynde Creek)
  • closest municipality (for example, Port Perry, Whitby)
  • location or landmarks (for example, 100 metres east of the boat launch, south of the bridge)
  • recent weather or environmental conditions

How to report bird deaths

If you see significant numbers of dead birds in one location, or if you see a few dead wild birds, especially:

  • waterfowl
  • American crows
  • common ravens
  • black-billed magpies
  • blue jays

Contact:

Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre
Tel: 1-866-673-4781

How to report bat deaths

To report any unusual bat activity (flying outside in daytime) or deaths contact the:

Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre
Tel: 1-866-673-4781

Natural Resources Information and Support Centre
Tel: 1-800-667-1940
Tel: 1-866-686-6072 for hearing impaired

Remove dead fish or wildlife from your property

Individual landowners are responsible for the cleanup of their own property.

In most cases, dead wild animals can be put in the garbage or buried.

If you are uncertain of disposal arrangements, contact your local municipality.

Municipalities are responsible for the public properties that they own. This includes municipally owned public beaches.

How to handle dead fish or wildlife

When handling dead fish or wildlife, be sure to:

  • wear rubber gloves or protective material
  • throw away any used gloves or protective material in the garbage
  • wash your hands thoroughly after handling carcasses
  • disinfect any tool that came into contact with the animal
Updated: July 15, 2021
Published: March 25, 2014