The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports spawning stress is causing fish kills in some Iowa lakes. According to Paul Sleeper, fisheries management biologist, a few dozen dead panfish were found in Lake Iowa Park in Iowa County early last week and in several other waterways. Natural fish kills like these are relatively common during spawning season, as it is very taxing for panfish. He says, “We see more spawning stress fish kills when we have a cool spring and then everything warms up quickly, like it did this year. Everything comes in to spawn at once, and any infection can spread quickly through the population.” Fortunately, the Black Hawk Fisheries Management District, which is headquartered in Lake View, says they have not received any reports so far of this in their region, including Sac, Calhoun, Crawford, Carroll and Greene Counties. Iowans are encouraged to report any suspected fish kill to the DNR’s 24-hour spill line at 515-725-8694. Quick reporting can assist in identifying the cause and provides an opportunity for staff to stop a fish kill in progress.
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