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Dead Panfish on Waconia

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I was fishing in waconia bay last friday, trolling around, I could see the bottom. I was astonished to see dead panfish laying all over the bottom, I mean hundreds! Is this caused by the fishing pressure that waconia Bay recieves in the early spring? People catching the fish over and over and then throwing them back? Anybody else see this? Kind of sad.


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I have seen this before on Christmas lake in the spring.. no idea what had caused it.. seems too late for a winterkill.. do some fish die after spawning? Or something must have put them into shock.. temp change, oxygen levels, who knows... wish I did.

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It could just be fish that didn't survive the winter. I've noticed on a few different lakes that you'll see panfish washed up on shore right after ice out and into spring. I guess there are a lot things it could be... injured fish that were caught during the winter or spring, death from natural causes, strain of some sort... I'm not sure what the exact cause is... it's probably a mixture of several different things.

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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Spring kill

Spring kill occurs in lakes and rivers when fish survive the winter but die as the water warms rapidly in May and June. It rarely claims many fish and is usually over in a couple of weeks. Spring kill is almost always due to natural causes beyond our influence. The usual victims are large bluegills and crappies, and other fish which spawn in the spring such as perch, bass, pike and suckers.

A combination of stresses is usually responsible. Fish come through the winter in a weakened condition because they've been eating at a reduced rate. As the water warms, their metabolism increases and they divert much energy to strenuous spawning activities. In lakes, additional stress may be added during "turnover", which is when wave action stirs up bottom water low in oxygen and high in noxious gases. Diseases and parasites also become more active and on a few occasions have been implicated in fish kills

ok im not that smart.... http://www.blacklakeny.com/summerkillwinterkill.html


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I had a chat with a CO about this subject a while back. I was told that one of the main causes of this is a sudden change in water temperature. Sometimes fish stay in deeper water during the winter and when spring arrives with the sudden migration to shallower water to feed the fish get temperature shock and some die. This same thing happens occasionally during early Ice.

Corey Bechtold

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Those all sound like logical causes, it is just real sad to see. Thanks for some feedback.


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I was out there last Friday, and I'm not trying to argue with you, but hundreds (implying multiple hundreds) is a little overexagerated. There definitely were some dead fish around--I noticed them too, but I definitely didn't see "hundreds". Actually, I have seen this happen every year in the early spring there in the bay since I've been fishing the lake. Its just not very often that you get too many windless days where you can see them. The others above are right...Sometimes they make it through the winter, but they don't have enough to hold on until spring gets here. I would even guess that some of those fish had been caught and released, but they were part of that group that was already weak, and that just did em' in. I also noticed that there were a couple of loons feeding in the bay that morning and there are still plenty of GBH's around, not to mention our beloved comorants. These birds will not leave those free meals laying around for very long, and the majority of that kill could have been from some of those fish actually succumbing to that cold front we had the week earlier, because I never saw them until last Friday. Two weeks before that the water in the bay got up to 67 degrees (late evening)by my thermometer, and then in just 3 days of that cold front it was back to 42. That could have explained alot of it as well. Just my thoughts on it.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • CigarGuy
      Nice job Bob! Fishing off the neighbors dock sucked for us. My gang is coming up Thursday night till Monday, this will be our opener, we'll hit it hard. It's a bummer my dock is mostly under water and the lift isn't in. Thanks to the neighbor around the corner for letting us park on shore at there place next weekend.
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