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Increased Fish Kill may Lead to Other Problems

Fish kill is a normal sign of spring and more has been seen around bodies of water in Northeast Indiana. It’s the beginning of April and signs of winter are slowly disappearing but the aftermath still lingers.
Fish kill is a normal sign of spring and more has been seen around bodies of water in Northeast Indiana. It’s the beginning of April and signs of winter are slowly disappearing but the aftermath still lingers.

"So this is really rare already to be in April and still have ice on the lakes," said Nate Bosch, Director of Lakes and Streams at Grace College in Winona Lake. He says the frozen water is causing more fish than usual to die.

“It's particularly bad when we've had harsh winter like we've had, and with all that ice cover over the lake for so many months and snow cover on top of that,” said Bosch. “The plants which normally produce oxygen throughout the winter can’t get that sunlight so those plants don’t produce that oxygen and the fish need that oxygen to survive so the oxygen level just keeps going down through the course of the winter.”

All the seagulls and other birds at Winona and Pike Lake don’t mind. They're currently taking care of the smelly problem by eating all the fish. However, because there are so many birds on the lake, Bosch says the levels of ecoli will have to be closely monitored. If it gets too high, swimming in the summer time can be dangerous. Moving forward, Bosch believes there is a solution.

"We can limit the amount of nutrients that get into our local lakes and streams and that'll then reduce the amount of oxygen that needs to get used up over the winter time," he said.

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