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blakjack23

Weather blamed in death of muskies in Lake Rebecca

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Weather blamed in death of muskies in Lake Rebecca

Thirty muskies up to 3 feet long were recently found dead in Lake Rebecca near Rockford in western Hennepin County.

Thirty muskies up to 3 feet long were recently found dead in Lake Rebecca near Rockford in western Hennepin County.

The muskies are part of a population of broodstock used by the Department of Natural Resources in its statewide muskie stocking program.

The fish, 32 to 36 inches long and 4 to 5 years old, were victims of "summerkill" - caused by the depletion of oxygen in the water because of warm summer temperatures.

"Summerkill is not an infrequent thing in the dog days of summer," said Dirk Peterson, DNR regional fisheries manager. The bay the fish were found in was only about 11/2 feet deep.

"With the high water temperatures, the oxygen likely depleted overnight, and the fish didn't know how to escape," Peterson said. The DNR also found eight dead bluegills and six dead largemouth bass.

Oxygen depletion increases at night, sometimes causing fish to suffocate. The lake's oxygen levels also might have been negatively affected by recent heavy rainfalls. Large amounts of denser, cooler rainwater can sometimes suddenly displace and spread deoxygenated bottom water to areas that previously allowed fish survival.

The DNR captures muskie broodstock in nets each spring from Lake Rebecca and removes eggs and sperm from them to produce muskies in state hatcheries. About 30,000 muskies are stocked annually in lakes around the state.

The loss of the 30 muskies -- about 25 to 30 percent of the broodstock in the lake -- was unfortunate but shouldn't affect the DNR's muskie-stocking program, Peterson said. If needed, the DNR can get eggs from adult muskies in other lakes.

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frown.giffrown.giffrown.gif

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does that mean that maybe the crappies will boom? grin.gif

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Sad, but things happens...

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