DNR: Severe Winter May Lead to More Fish Kills

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Officials say dead fish and other aquatic creatures may be a common sight in Michigan because of the severely cold winter weather.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says dead fish, turtles, frogs, toads and crayfish may be found after ice and snow melt. The cold weather has boosted ice cover and has been accompanied by heavy snow, creating conditions that threaten fish.

DNR fish production manager Gary Whelan says in a statement Wednesday that such fish kills are "localized and typically do not affect the overall health of the fish populations."

So-called winterkill occurs during especially long, harsh winters -- similar to the one experienced this year in Michigan. Shallow lakes with excess aquatic vegetation and mucky bottoms are particularly prone to deaths of fish and other aquatic creatures.

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