- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Biologists with North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department are asking anglers for help in documenting lakes that might have experienced winterkill.

Fisheries management section leader Scott Gangl says some winter fish mortality is expected every year, but he doesn’t anticipate major widespread fish kills this year because of a mild winter and a lack of snow cover.

Winterkill happens when heavy snowfall blocks sunlight from going into lakes. Plants die and stop giving off oxygen, and they also consume oxygen as they decompose. That limits oxygen available for fish.

Biologists will begin sampling suspected winterkill lakes later this spring to document the severity of any die-offs. The department says anglers can help by reporting any lakes where they encounter dead fish.

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