Local women get an eyefill of dead fish

Published 5:22am Thursday, June 6, 2013

Three friends hoping to enjoy a warm, sunny day in early May encountered hundreds of dead fish on the shores of Lightning Lake on the Otter Tail-Grant county line.

“It was disturbing,” Fergus Falls resident Amanda Johnson said. “I saw about four to five species washed up on shore.”

Lower lake levels caused by last fall’s drought coupled with the late winter created the perfect storm for fish kills this year, said Jim Wolters, area fisheries supervisor with the Department of Natural Resources.

“It’s really a double whammy,” he said. “As more lakes open up, we expect to get more calls (of fish kills).”

He was quick to point out that the kills are not related to any chemical application.

Although fish kills are unpleasant to encounter, they are not all bad, Wolters said.

“We like to see some winter kill each year,” he said. “It allows fingerlings a better chance of survival and can kill off fish that can overtake a lake, such as bullheads.”

Anyone who sees a winter kill may call Wolters at 739-7576, Ext. 223.

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