Lakes and ponds across Iowa are starting to experience small, sporadic fish kills due to rapidly changing water temperature, a drop in oxygen level and stress from spawning.
Mike Hawkins, fisheries biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at Spirit Lake, said the kills are impacting different species at different locations. “The species depends on the system and so far these are small, natural fish kills and not really harming the overall population."
In Hawkins' area, the natural kills have involved bluegills and bullheads. Recently at Lake Odessa, a natural kill involved gizzard shad.
But Hawkins cautioned against assuming all fish kills this time of year are natural and encouraged anyone seeing dead fish to report it to the DNR.