COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohioans may see some dead fish along Ohio's ponds and small lakes as ice and snow from this past winter melt.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says winterkills occur when persistent ice forms a surface barrier between the water and air that prevents circulation of oxygen and blocks sunlight. Depleted oxygen can result in fish suffocating, and plants cut off from sunlight stop making more oxygen.
Winterkills are most common in shallow ponds, with the dead fish typically found along the shore. Ohio's northern counties are usually affected the most because of colder temperatures and more frequent snows, but the kills are possible throughout the state this year.
Some fish die-offs also are expected in some of Ohio's larger lakes this year.