Heat Killing Fish | VideoAlexander Gorney | 7/26/2012
Ed Cadwell knows a thing or two when it comes to fishing.
"Well I`ve only been doing it for 65 years. That should tell you something," he said.
The 86-year-old says the fish have been biting this summer.
"Fishing is good. A lot of small fish, quite a few Northerns that keep biting the line off."
But that could be a different story when it comes to fishing in some of North Dakota`s lakes now.
"We`ve had some warm days early in the summer. Throughout most of June and early July we`ve had above normal temperatures. This is really stressing out our fish populations across the state. We`re starting to see some localized fish kills from that," said Scott Gangl with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Gangl says thousands of fish have died because of the warm temperatures. Most of the fish kills have occurred on smaller lakes such as Stump Lake near Devils Lake, Skjermo, Brewer, North Gate and the Lower James River.
"Some of the fish that are adapted to cold water or cool water like rainbow trout are really susceptible to heat stress. Northern Pike can be susceptible too and we saw some of our early fish kills were just Northern Pike just the water was getting to warm for them and they were dying."
The high temperatures in the summer warms up the water which contributes to low dissolved oxygen thus killing the fish.
"It`s probably going to affect people on the smaller lakes in the Northwest. There aren`t as many fish in the lake and when the lakes a lot smaller and you have fish kill it can have more significant impact on the lake," Gangl said.
"There`ll probably be more if it stays hot up in the 90`s to 100`s because there`s more growth of algae. There`s a lack of oxygen," Cadwell said.
Though you may have a tougher time reeling in fish in the smaller lakes, Gangl says fish in larger bodies of water like the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea are not as affected.
The Game and Fish Department wants your help in reporting any observed fish mortality in the states lakes. You can call 701-328-6300.