Harsh winter kills off fish in SD lake - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Harsh winter kills off fish in SD lake

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One South Dakota lake is lacking fish after this long and cold winter. Twin Lakes, 9 miles southwest of Woonsocket, had hundreds of fish that suffocated from lack of oxygen this winter, and now they sit on the shore to rot.

"It's smelly," Del Fougner said. Fougner has lived on the lake for about 9 years, and he said he sees this every year, but this year was the worst. There are several theories as to why this happens. Some say the lake froze almost all the way to the bottom, so fish didn't stand a chance. Others say it's because there are no longer wells running water into the lake, keeping water flowing. Many people put blame on the Game Fish and Parks, but Fougner thinks someone else is to blame.

"Game Fish and Parks is responsible for our lakes so it's easy to blame them, but we got to take a look at it ourselves and we need to be better stewards of the land," he said. He thinks chemical run off around the lake is killing the fish. "You can look across over hear they just tiled this field, and that runs off right into the lake. Nitrates," he said.

Whatever is causing the problem, it's killing a lot of fish. Most of the fish found on shore are carp or other fish that aren't often fished for. Game, Fish and Parks say the lake's bottom is mucky and a tough environment for fish. 

People have cleaned up fish in front of their lake homes, but mother nature has been responsible for the rest. People that live on the lake have said Bald Eagles have found the dead fish, and they've done a good job of getting rid of several.
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