North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are asking anglers for help in documenting lakes that may have experienced winter fish mortality.
Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl said some winterkill is expected every year, with the severity depending on winter weather conditions.
“We had a colder than average winter, but we had normal to below-normal snow cover,” Gangl said. “Therefore, we don’t anticipate major widespread winterkill, which is good news given the record number of fishing waters in the state. However, some of the smaller lakes where we periodically see winterkill will likely experience some die-offs.”
Gangl said this is the one of the busiest times of the year for fisheries crews, therefore Game and Fish staff might not get to every lake right at ice out. “That’s why it’s important for anglers to report fish die-offs so our crews can follow up on it,” he added.
Biologists will begin sampling suspected winterkill lakes later this spring once fish spawning operations are completed to document the severity of any die-offs.
Anglers can report fish mortality to a local Game and Fish Department district office.