South Dakota Fish Populations Affected By Severe Winter Kill, Restoration Efforts Underway

(Pierre, SD) — Winter kills are having a larger-than-average impact on the state’s fish populations this year. During winter, a lack of dissolved oxygen in bodies of water can lead to a “winter kill.” The conditions that cause a winter kill begin to form when lakes and rivers freeze over. Severity of a winter kill depends on factors like the duration and thickness of the ice and snow cover, the size and depth of the body of water, and the availability of alternative habitats for fish to seek refuge. South Dakota’s fisheries program manager Jake Davis assured the public that restocking efforts were well underway, with most affected systems already restocked. Numerous lakes and water bodies were not affected, he said, and offer excellent fishing opportunities.

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