DNR Says Finding Dead Fish in Spring Common as Lakes Thaw

The DNR is wanting to remind everyone that after the ice and snow cover melts on Michigan’s lakes this spring, it may be common to discover dead fish or other aquatic creatures.

Winter conditions often can cause fish and other creatures such as turtles, frogs, toads and crayfish to die.

Shallow lakes with excess aquatic vegetation and soft bottoms are prone to this problem. Canals in urban areas also are quite susceptible due to the run-off and pollution, particularly from large storm events.

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 temporarily are preserved by the cold water.

Fish also may be affected by rapid changes in water temperature due to unseasonably warm temperatures leading to stress and sometimes death.

This is likely the case with the record or near record temperatures coupled with the large rain events last month.

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