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Severe Winter May Lead to More Fish Kills
Winterkill is the most common type of fish kill and dead fish and other aquatic creatures may become a common sight in Michigan because of the severely cold winter.

Dead fish, turtles, frogs, toads and crayfish may be found after ice and snow melt, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Thick ice and heavy snow have created conditions that threaten fish.

Winterkill occurs during especially long, harsh winters, as 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.

Once daylight is greatly reduced by thick ice and deep snow cover, aquatic plants stop producing oxygen and many die. The bacteria that decompose organic materials on the bottom of the lake use the remaining oxygen.

 
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Aquatic Vegetation in the Buffalo River Indicator of Health - Overwhelmed by decades of pollution, by the late 60's, the Buffalo River's condition was disgraceful and in 1969 it was functionally declared biologically dead by the federal government. Aquatic vegetation is now an indicator that the health of the river is in a renewal stage.


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