This Winter Is Killing Missouri's Fish
|USACE HQ on Flickr|
|The American shad fish.|
On top of the ice, winter storms brought heavy snowfall, sometimes more than a foot overnight.
"Deep snow can prevent light from reaching aquatic plants," says O'Hearn. "Without light, plants begin to die, and when they die, they not only are not releasing oxygen into the water, their decomposition actually consumes oxygen. If that goes on for long enough, like it has this year, fish can suffocate."
The largest impact on Missouri, the conservation department says, is a temporary food shortage this spring for game fish that eat the smallest shad.
See a particularly large group of dead fish in your neighborhood? Call the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' environmental emergency response line at 573-634-2436.