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Stress From Spring Spawn Is Causing Some Fish To




May 2003

DES MOINES - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is fielding calls from concerned anglers about seeing dead fish in their favorite fishing hole. A recent report of dead crappie and bluegill at Badger Creek had one angler questioning if the fish she caught was safe to eat.

"We see this natural die off each year in different lakes and ponds affecting mainly crappie and bluegill, but there are some bass and other species afflicted as well," said Marion Conover, chief of the DNR's fisheries bureau. "The fish kill reported at Badger Creek is caused by stress from spawning. Most of the fish were crappies, but there were some bluegills as well."

Conover said fish caught from Badger Creek and other lakes experiencing similar natural mortality are safe to eat.

"As with fish caught from any lake or stream, we recommend that people properly care for the fish once it's caught and cook it thoroughly," he said. "Fish are part of a healthy diet and excellent table fare."

Anglers should not associate every fish kill this time of year to natural mortality and should call their local conservation officer or DNR office if they notice dead fish.

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