Hundreds of fish are washing up on the shores of Northwest Ohio

It’s a bit of a stinky situation... But is it concerning?
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 8:55 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2023 at 9:01 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - If you venture to any of the local shorelines, chances are you will see plenty of dead fish washing up.

But is it cause for concern?

Christine Mayer, an environmental scientist at The University of Toledo, says the small fish washing up are gizzard shad. They swim in large schools, and she describes them as a ‘delicate’ species.

“If conditions change sharply, that might be something that makes a bunch of them die.”

Mayer says it happens every season. Most fish do not eat much when it’s cold, putting them in a vulnerable position when the water temperature increases.

“The water warms up a little bit; that’s going to kick on their metabolism, and some of them just aren’t going to make it.”

Mayer says the number of fish washing up is based on population and changes yearly, so if you’re noticing higher-than-normal amounts of fish on the shoreline, that’s a good thing and can even indicate a healthy Walleye population in the lake and rivers.

“They can be a really good forage fish for other larger fish to eat.”

If you have any questions or concerns, you can find the number for your county wildlife officer here.

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