Heat kills hundreds of fish - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Heat kills hundreds of fish

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NEAR ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- As we first reported last week hundreds of dead fish are washing up on the shores of area lakes, and now that problem is being seen along shorelines here in Rochester.

It's something most anglers won't want to hear, but the Minnesota DNR said the fish population is decreasing. It's a trend that is spreading across the state because of last week's excessive heat.

Whether it's hot and humid temperatures, or a cold winter blast, Silver Creek Reservoir is a popular local destination for anglers. Just 6 months later a majority of the Northern Pike population, may now, be dead.

"We were fishing and then like, Oh we saw a fish, a Pike, and it was dead and then we started to notice there were more, so we just thought that was kind of weird," Julian Phan, an angler.

A bit odd, to say the least. Jeff Weiss, with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said fish typically die off during the winter months.

"If we see a fish kill, it is winter kill, due to oxygen depletion and that hasn't happened for quite a few years now in most of the reservoirs, but the summer kill is more rare," stated Jeff Weiss, with the DNR.

But not this summer, in fact, take a look at this video we shot last week, when we reported a significant number fish were dead at Fountain Lake and Geneva Lake, near Albert Lea. Weiss said the scene was much the same at the reservoir - east of Rochester - last week.

"We counted Northern that we could see and we estimated that there were around 200 of them dead," explained Weiss.

There's no need for anglers to worry about a deadly bacteria.

"The other species that are in there Large Mouth Bass, Crappie, they can take warmer water temperatures than the Northern than Perch we don't see any of those species dead. We suspect everything points to that it was due to really high water temperatures," said Weiss.

Now all anglers can do is hope the rest of the summer is cooler on the water. Weiss said the DNR will go back late this Summer or early Fall to net fish within the reservoir. Until then they won't know just how many Northern Pike have died.

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