According to the Game, Fish and Parks Department, the bitter cold temperatures have made it difficult for the fish to receive oxygen.
The thick ice has cut off a lot of the sunlight that the underwater plants use to create oxygen through photosynthesis. The department estimates this could decrease the number of fish in area lakes, but it will have to wait until spring to find out the exact number of fish lost. This winter has hurt area lakes more than just with low temperatures.
“We haven't had a tremendous amount of snowfall this year and some of our lakes were a little bit low going into last fall and we rely on runoff to refill those lakes,” Regional Fisheries Manager Todd St. Sauver.
St. Sauver says winter is always a stressful time in his job, but he says this winter has been exceptional.