- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The state Department of Environmental Conservation has been getting lots of calls about dead fish littering the banks of ponds, but biologists say it’s probably nothing to worry about.

Fisheries biologists from DEC’s Buffalo office say the extended period of ice and deep snow is likely to result in fish die-offs in numerous ponds, especially shallow ones. The phenomenon is known as winterkill.

Winter die-off is caused by oxygen depletion in the water. Ice prevents wind action from adding oxygen to the water, and deep snow blocks sunlight from reaching aquatic plants. Without enough light, the plants can’t produce oxygen.

DEC says the best way to avoid winterkill is to deepen a pond to more than 12 feet and remove some of the decaying plant material on the bottom.

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