DNR Keeping Close Eye Winter Fish Kill

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

Dead fish are washing up on the shores of lakes across central and northcentral Wisconsin following this long and harsh winter. That has been especially true on the eastern shore of Lake Petenwell in Adams County.

James Falk spends a lot of time fishing on Lake Petenwell when he comes up from Chicago to enjoy some time off. But this year, he and other anglers have been seeing lots of dead fish crowding the shoreline. But luckily for him, he says it hasn't impacted his catch.

"It hasn't affected the fishing whatsoever. I don't see if affecting the fishing whatsoever in the future, it just is a natural part of how the river cleanses itself. Its just the way it works,” he explained.

While the fish deaths are nothing unusual--its still something the DNR is keeping a close eye on. They believe the increase in dead fish is likely the result of the extreme winter and a longer than normal time frame when the lake was frozen over.

"When the ice comes off and the wind stirs up the water the fish come off the bottom and can migrate to the shores. With the strong west wind that we have had, its not surprising they have come to the east shore,” said Jennifer Bergman, DNR Fishieries Biologist.

Now it is very important to point out that while the fish kill may seem alarming, it is part of a natural process and its not expected to have a big impact on fishing.

Something local businesses and residents are rather happy about.

The DNR says other lakes across the area will also likely see higher numbers of dead fish as a result of the long winter.

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