Harsh winter kills fish - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Harsh winter kills fish

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Officials at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say the harsh winter has led to fish kills.

At Meyers Lake in Evansdale, dead fish litter the shore. Charline Newman was there Thursday with her twin sister and granddaughter.

"When we were walking around the lake, it smelled fishy," she said.

Dan Kirby is a Fishery Biologist for the DNR. He said since the lake was iced over for so long, the oxygen in the water was depleted, and fish essentially suffocated.

"Sometimes, when those fish start dying, the process of them dying causes more oxygen to be used," Kirby said. "Then more fish die because of that."

He said beyond the fishy smell, there's not much to worry about. He also said most adult fish are only two to three years old, so populations recover relatively quickly.

It's an issue state-wide.

"This is really no different than we're seeing in some of our lakes and ponds," Kirby said. "You know it's not an extreme amount of fish that we have here."

City officials plan to clean up the fish Friday morning.

"If [people] would like to come down and get some compost it will be here," said Mayor Doug Faas. "If they'd like to come down and help pick them up, we'd appreciate that too."

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