Cold, snowy winter may give way to floating fish as ice recedes from ponds | Environment
Don't be surprised if you see a lot of dead fish when the ice melts off your local pond.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation says increased fish kills known as "winterkills" are expected this spring because of the unusually harsh, snowy winter.
Winterkills are the result of oxygen depletion in a water body that has been covered by ice and snow for an extended period of time. The layers of snow and ice block oxygen from entering the water from the air, and prevent sunlight from reaching aquatic plants that would produce oxygen.
The DEC says winterkills are rare in larger water bodies over 20 acres in size, occurring more often in small ponds. The agency says fish populations can often rebound a few years after a winterkill.
DEC says anyone noting a fish kill that they believe cannot be attributed to winterkill should contact their local DEC regional office.
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