7 things to know about Minneapolis fish kills - KMSP-TV

7 things to know about Minneapolis fish kills

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Notice something fishy around Minneapolis shorelines? Whether it's a strong smell or the sight of dozens of dead fish, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board insists it’s no cause for concern.

The increase in temperature and appearance of dead fish and decomposing plants around Minneapolis have a direct correlation. In fact, fish kills are simply seasonal.

Here’s what happens:

- Warmer water has less oxygen in it. That means that every spring, the temperature increase actually decreases oxygen available for fish. When combined with the stress from spawning, some fish die.

- Lake plants also decompose when temperatures rise, which adds another odor on top of the smell of the dead fish.

- Heavy rains can bring runoff from fertilized lawns and fields, carrying nutrients and pollution to the lakes. Runoff has been linked to increased algae and other plant growth, and that can aggravate the low-oxygen problem.

- Smaller species -- think of sunfish, crappies and bullheads -- tend to be affected most. Occasionally, largemouth bass and northern pike can also be claimed by the annual fish kill.

- Minneapolis isn't the only place that sees evidence of fish kills on the lakeshores. They occur all over Minnesota, but tend to vary in severity depending on how fast things heat up.

- Fish kills do not mean lake water is unsafe or unsuitable for swimming or boating. There is no threat to human health beyond normal water safety risks.

- Fish kills do not mean the fish from the lake are unsafe to eat. The fish that survive should be fine.

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