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News Brief

May 24, 2023Des Moines, Iowa |  By: Jeremy Werner

Iowa DNR officials noticing spawning stress


DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists have investigated recent reports of dead bluegill and crappie in southern Iowa lakes.

These natural fish kills are a common occurrence at a number of lakes each spring during spawning season. There is little danger to the overall population of bluegill or crappie.

Iowa lakes can support thousands of panfish per acre of water. The spawning season is very stressful. A variety of factors can cause this stress, including changes in water temperature, water quality and availability of food.

Fish are more vulnerable to predators during spawning, which can add to their stress levels. If you see dead fish - especially when there are several species or sizes, or when you can see a pollutant present - call the DNR’s 24-hour spill line at 515-725-8694 as soon as possible.

Quick reporting can help DNR staff identify the cause of a fish kill and potentially stop a fish kill in progress.