Northern WI. Lake Winter Oxygen levels

2/9/18 @ 6:15 PM
ORIGINAL POST
Batman1
Batman1
USER since 1/23/09

Minnows dying on the bottom? Are you seeing dead fish on the bottom or having them float up into your holes? Maybe the tough winter has depleted the Oxygen levels. Will we see a bigger than normal die-off after the thaw? .... Are you seeing fish kill?

..Your comments are needed and very welcome..

Edited on 4/13/18 9:30 AM
Post Your Comment
Displaying 1 to 10 of 14 Posts
5/14/18 @ 12:59 PM
ButtsD
ButtsD
USER since 12/20/12
Bad news for Buckskin lake fans.  Lots of dead fish noticed after the ice went out this spring of 2018!

Post Your Comment
5/3/18 @ 7:09 PM
Batman1
Batman1
USER since 1/23/09

Please post any fish kill finds on the Forum...

'2018 WI winter fish kill...Survey'

Thanks

Post Your Comment
4/15/18 @ 10:57 PM
n.pike
n.pike
USER since 4/2/02

I'm really starting to wonder about it. I noted on another thread that I saw ice on a local lake on November 6 this year. Once May 6 hits, that's 6 straight months of ice. Plus we've had snow on the ice almost that whole time. I guess I think there will be sizable die off. However, I also think this is a natural thing that occurs and it can be good long term, but bad short term. It will be very interesting to see the results come ice off. 

Post Your Comment
3/26/18 @ 3:57 PM
Batman1
Batman1
USER since 1/23/09

There have been 1,370 + views on this post since it started in mid Feb....and that could be a lake link forum record. This is certainly a hot topic in the bait stores, in the area newspapers, on the radio, on the ice between many other fishermen and 1 TV station. Guys with cameras are seeing dead fish on the bottom and Oxygen meters are verifying that with low levels noted in lots of lakes. Some lakes will take a big hit this winter but local business owners and guides might want that kept quiet. A retired fish biologist recently stated at the WI sports show... "as fishermen we will have to change our tactics and maybe give some lakes a rest until they recover." I would have to agree..

Edited on 4/1/18 4:46 PM
Post Your Comment
3/24/18 @ 10:19 PM
Ulbian
Ulbian
USER since 9/24/03

On a bunch of lakes I like to see a bit of a winter kill because just enough knuckleheads will be led to believe that half a dozen dead fish means that the entire lake was killed off. To borrow a line from a great philosopher by the name of Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Who's the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?" People buy into the gloom and doom spread forth by the knuckleheads and they'll avoid that lake for a few years. I do absolutely nothing, zilch, nada, zero to convince them of anything different. 

A good winter kill isn't a bad thing...especially on spring fed lakes. If you know where those springs are you can do pretty darn well during harsh winters when minnows are dying away from the springs. Fish close to them and your minnows will be fine and the stuff you are targeting will be stacked up big time. You just have to be aware of ice conditions. The same sort of approach applies during hot summers when water temps shoot way up. Get over the springs and you'll find cooler water. Find cooler water and you'll eliminate a bunch of dead water by focusing on good water. 

Post Your Comment
3/24/18 @ 9:03 PM
Batman1
Batman1
USER since 1/23/09

Our Lakeland Times newspaper (Minocqua area) just had an article on oxygen levels and winter kill possibly alerting us to what we have expected, the huge die off we will notice once our ice is gone up here. It has been a big topic in the bait shops and among the locals especially this year. One positive thing noted in the article was that in many cases, not all the fish die and the remaining ones have less competition for any available food. While there will be less fish, the growth rate will improve, meaning larger fish. If you notice a large die off, contact your local WDNR office.

Post Your Comment
2/19/18 @ 6:04 PM
jkb
jkb
USER since 6/25/02

Batman, There can be massive winterkills on lakes that are shallow and have heavy weed growth.  Mann lake has frequent winter kills and the dominant species in those lakes are perch and northern which have the highest tolerance for low DO. The Ballard lake chain had a massive die off in the late 90s and I have heard had a smaller one 2 years ago because the aerator wasn’t turned on.  In 2014 there was die off in Big Arbor Vitae shallow bays as well as many other lakes due to heavy snow on ice that lasted into May.  Winter die off was exasterbated from 1988- 2008 as drought conditions created historic low water levels and increased weed growth set up the perfect storm.  If light penetration was reduced for months with snow cover the extra weeds and smaller volume created winterkill.  You are correct that lakes with current or springs will have higher DO levels.  Deeper clearer lakes also maintain their DO levels as there is less decomposition of organic material.  

We are a bit lucky this year as heavy spring rains caused the lake levels to rise and I saw less weed growth in some lakes fed by swamps as tannic acid inflow from the swamps discolored the water, reduced light penetration and fewer weeds grew.  Just my observations from being on open water over 100 days this year in Vilas.

Post Your Comment
2/19/18 @ 1:14 PM
nihsif
nihsif
MEMBER since 6/15/01

isn't this a natural occurrence? decades ago, some lakes that this is a common occurrence  have, in some cases, installed aerators... not sure of results  

Post Your Comment
2/19/18 @ 10:37 AM
Batman1
Batman1
USER since 1/23/09

Bait store operators say that low 02 levels is a topic that is mentioned by fishermen in their stores. It is also a topic that is brought up on the ice by other fishermen.  I don't believe that the 02 level gets so bad that the fish die off but one fish biologist stated that increased levels trigger a bite as noted when water runs into your hole on late ice. Fish will do what they have to do to survive whether that is moving to a different area on the body of water they are in, maybe near current or springs or raising in the water table to where the 02 levels are higher.( oxygenated water weighing less will rise)...A simple test without an 02 meter would be to put minnows at different levels to see where they survive. If they are dying on the bottom that should tell you something. 02 water level studies have always been a concern amongst fishermen and biologists in late winter. Just be smart and make the adjustments.

Edited on 5/3/18 7:07 PM
Post Your Comment
2/11/18 @ 8:28 PM
Carpio
Carpio
USER since 11/5/17

Crappies just under the ice is common, even on oxygenated water. Gills too!.    I doubt if these panfish would bite if the ox level was low.  CARPIO 

Post Your Comment
Displaying 1 to 10 of 14 Posts