A number of channel catfish washed ashore at Storm Lake late last week and into the weekend, and state fisheries experts believe Mother Nature may be to blame.
Less than 100 dead fish were found, and no additional kill was evident Monday.
Channel catfish have a history of struggling with hard winters, according to Mick Klemesrud of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Throw in low water levels and concentrate the fish in the one area with deep water, and that can put a lot of stress on the fish.
"It is definitely not a winter kill due to low oxygen because these fish have only been dead for three or four days," Lannie Miller, DNR fisheries biologist, reported Saturday. Miller monitored the oxygen levels in Storm Lake this winter and found generally 3 to 12 parts per million of dissolved oxygen - enough for fish to survive. Winter stress is more likely the culprit.
Read the rest of this article in the 4/10/01 Pilot Tribune.