Beginning the week of April 3rd, reports of some dead fish on Rice Lake/Elm Creek were being reported as the ice went out. This "winterkill" is a result of an extraordinary harsh winter, as we can all understand. A long period of ice on the lake, along with an above average snowpack, reduced the amount of light and oxygen into the water for the fish. Even with the winter aeration system running, there was still a lack of dissolved oxygen present in the water column. Similar results may be seen on other shallow lakes around the state.
RLAA will be stocking some fish this season as a result of both previous winterkills and a fish survey which reported lower than expected numbers of sunfish and crappies.
Below are some photos taken by local residents of the aftermath of dead fish.
April 2023 Fish "Winterkill" on Rice Lake
These photos were taken on April 11 along the northern shoreline of Rice Lake.
Taken April 5 on NW corner of Rice Lake
Taken April 14 on SE corner of Rice Lake
Taken April 14 on NE corner of Rice Lake in Tristan Bay