Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lake Winnebago System Experiences Huge Fish Die-Off

Over the past month here in northeast Wisconsin temperatures have remained well above average.  Couple this with very little rainfall and you have yourself a recipe for disaster!  Water levels are at their lowest levels of the year, which is making for lots of stagnant water throughout the entire system.  To make matters even worse, Lake Winnebago is in the midst of the worst algae bloom the lake has seen in nearly a decade.

All of these factors have caused the fish living in these waters to become stressed, searching for cooler, cleaner water, which at the moment simply doesn't exist!  All of this stress has begun to kill the fish, which is causing more issues.  Thousands of dead fish are floating around the system, bloating up, and creating an odor I wouldn't wish upon anyone.

There have been several species of fish that have died off from these conditions, but the hardest hit seem to be the Northern Pike, Perch, and Sheepshead.  The first reports of a fish die-off came from the shores of the Wolf River, where water temperatures reportedly reached 92°!  As the heat wave continued, the fish die-off spread to the larger bodies of water in the system including: Lake Poygan, Lake Butte des morts, and finally Lake Winnebago.

At this point, all anyone can do is hope for cooler weather and rain.  Hopefully things cool off before this turns tragic!

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