Many Americans face apocalyptic scenarios once again, and this time, it’s not about COVID nor wildfires. Significant amounts of dead fish were seen in ponds and lagoons, as the Park District officials and the freshwater biologists declared. BlockClubChicago.org wrote about this subject while the waters teeming with fish corpses are in Chicago.
Luckily enough, there is an explanation for the apparently mysterious amount of dead fish. The cold streak in February, a swift warm-up from March, as well as a mountain of snowfall have all contributed to the scary outcome.
Michele Lemons, a park district spokeswoman, declared:
If a spring warm-up happens very quickly, as it did this year, the low [dissolved oxygen levels] can cause some of the fish to die-off as they become more active.
Austin Happel, who is a freshwater research biologist at the Shedd Aquarium, explained that Chicago’s ponds represent a sensitive ecosystem since they are small and shallow. Happel stated:
Being shallow, they can be pretty influenced by the air temperature around them. So if it gets really hot or really cold they the water temperature will kind of migrate in that direction at a rapid pace, which can be really stressful for fish.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has an interesting guide that shows the numerous and diverse fish species that people can see in places such as the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Here are some of the most common species of fish: Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), Black bullhead (Ameiurus melas), Bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), Pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), Green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), Northern pike (Esox lucius), American eel (Anguilla rostrata), etc.