Hot Weather, Heavy Rains Lead to Fish Kills Near La Crosse

Photo: Photo: Wikimedia Commons

August 05, 2016 11:26 AM

Biologists say the hot summer weather is contributing to fish kills near La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Dead fish have been reported in Blue Lake, Lawrence Lake, Round Lake and other areas in the backwaters of the Mississippi River.


The Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of natural resources have been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate the fish kills, and they have determined they’re due to hypoxia, which happens when there are unusually low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Biologists say hypoxia happens when hot summer weather and heavy rains cause rapid changes in the water levels.

They say near-zero oxygen levels have been measured in some backwater areas near La Crosse, and the rain has flushed that water into other parts of the river.

Fish species that have been dying include bluegill, yellow perch, largemouth bass, gizzard shad, common carp and northern pike.

Anyone who sees a large number of dead fish is encouraged to report it to the state DNR.


Jennie Lissarrague

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