Although inconclusive, state fisheries officials believe that the cause of death for hundreds of carp found floating in Holter Reservoir last month was a combination of old age, diet, water quality and parasites.
Most of the carp died around the Fourth of July with only a few additional mortalities observed after the holiday weekend.
When the fish were first discovered, tissue samples were collected and sent to a lab. But even with the test results the cause of the deaths remains a mystery, though several possible causes were ruled out.
It does not appear to be caused by an infectious bacteria or virus and has apparently not affected any other fish species in the reservoir, which lies between Great Falls and Helena.
In the meantime, FWP will continue to monitor fish populations and water quality to try to determine what may have caused the carp die-off.