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Heavy snow and ice expected to create large fish kill in Michigan

Sean Gallup, Getty Images

It is normal for snow and ice cover during long winters to kill fish and small aquatic creatures in Michigan.

This winter is expected to be especially tough.

The Michigan DNR says after the heavy ice and snow cover melts on Michigan’s lakes this winter, it may be common to discover dead fish or other aquatic creatures.

This year’s severe winter will create conditions that cause fish and other creatures such as turtles, frogs, toads and crayfish to die.

Gary Whelan, DNR fish production manager says:

Winterkill is the most common type of fish kill. Given the harsh conditions this winter with thick ice and deep snow cover, it will be particularly common in shallow lakes and streams and ponds. These kills are localized and typically do not affect the overall health of the fish populations or fishing quality.

Shallow lakes with excess aquatic vegetation and mucky bottoms are particularly prone to this problem. Fish and other aquatic life typically die in late winter, but may not be noticed until a month after the ice leaves the lake because the dead fish and other aquatic life are temporarily preserved by the cold water.

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