The Journal Gazette
Sunday, May 17, 2020 1:00 am


Fish dying off in spring natural

Journal Gazette

As water bodies warm and receive more hours of sunlight, Hoosiers may begin to notice more dead fish floating on them. This is a natural occurrence.

Warmer water temperatures are triggering spawning activity for many of Indiana's native fish species. The timing and length of spawning periods varies between species and also among fish of different sizes within a species. These activities require a lot of energy and can weaken fish, leaving them susceptible to secondary infections from diseases or parasites that can lead to their demise. Spawning activities can last for weeks, and large numbers of fish can die during that time; however, these events are rarely substantial enough to have a lasting effect on the species' population.

Any die-off is typically a single-species event, because each species spawns during a different time period, although some overlap can occur. Natural die-offs can even benefit some populations of species. For example, a die-off event can reduce populations that have reached unsustainable numbers. Normally, older and weaker fish of a single species are the ones affected.

Other natural causes of death in fish include injuries or old age, lack of food, lack of dissolved oxygen in the water, parasites or diseases, abrupt or extreme temperature changes, severe weather, and predation. Coming out of winter, many in Indiana have seen “winter kills” and gizzard shad die-offs.

Find more information on fish die-offs in the Indiana Fish Pond Management guide at

For other fish kill information, see Purdue Extension's “What? Killed the Fish” at

If someone happens upon a large number of dead fish of several species or sizes, or a pollutant is suspected, call the Indiana DNR TIP line at 800-847-4367 or the Indiana Emergency Spill Line at 888-233-7745 or 317-233-7745.

Other fish-related inquiries can be directed to DNR district fisheries biologists at

Resources panel to meet virtually

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission will conduct its next bimonthly meeting virtually at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The agenda and downloadable related materials as well as detailed instructions for participating are posted at

Members of the public can submit questions and comments to Scott Allen at before 4 p.m. Monday. Members of the public submitting questions or comments will be required to provide their first and last name and clearly identify the agenda item to which they are referring.

The NRC is an autonomous board that addresses topics pertaining to the DNR.

NRC members include the DNR director, heads of three other state agencies (Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Office of Tourism Development, and the Indiana Department of Transportation), six citizens appointed by the governor on a bipartisan basis, the chair of the DNR's advisory council, and the president of the Indiana Academy of Science.

The Academy of Science president and the agency heads, other than the DNR director, may appoint proxies to serve the commission in their absences.

Soccer association honors Sport Club

Fort Wayne Sport Club was recently named an Indiana Soccer Association 5-star club, one of only three clubs in the state, joining Michiana Echo (South Bend) and Greenfield Area, to earn all five stars and be named a 5-star club.

The 5-star program helps ensure parents, athletes and the community that Fort Wayne Sport Club holds itself to the highest standard for risk management, education, alignment, communication, and honorable governance.

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