Recent hot weather, low water prompts fish kills in southern Wisconsin; citizens asked to report dead fish to DNR
Four recent fish kills in southern Wisconsin have prompted Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource officials to remind citizens to quickly call the DNR if they see large numbers of dead fish in their local lake, river or stream.
A long stretch of hot weather combined with a lack of precipitation has created low water and oxygen levels in many waterways, said Scot Stewart, DNR south central district fisheries supervisor.
“As water temperatures go up, water is not able to hold as much oxygen, which fish need,” said Stewart. “Respiration by plants can reduce the amount of oxygen to levels lethal to fish. That’s when summer fish kills occur.”
The four fish kills occurred in the Rock River in Dodge County, upstream from the Horicon dam; near Hustisford in Dodge County at the base of Lake Sinissippi; Beckman Mill Pond in Green County; and on the Yahara River below Lake Kegonsa in Dane County.
The department estimates the Rock River kill caused the death of more than 500 fish, mostly carp, but a number of walleye also. The fish kill near Hustisford involved close to 2,000 fish, including a large number of walleye and channel catfish. The agency is still investigating the other two fish kills, said Stewart.
“Unfortunately, fish kills due to hot weather and from other factors happen every summer around the state, and we encourage citizens to call the DNR as soon as they think they see one,” said Stewart.
Stewart added that the sooner the DNR knows about a fish kill, the more accurate information staff can collect, which helps the department learn the exact causes.
To report a potential fish kill, or if you see dead fish, please call the DNR Tip Line at 1-800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367).
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