Hot temperatures cause fish kills in Minneapolis and other metro lakes

Lake users and park users along trails surrounding popular Minneapolis lakes may notice an unusual number of dead fish floating or washed ashore when temperatures are high. This common occurrence is called a fish kill and is caused by low oxygen levels brought on by rising heat.

According to the Minnesota DNR, several area lakes are experiencing summer fish kills. Species affected are usually sunfish, crappies and occasionally, largemouth bass and northern pike.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff dispose of the fish throughout the day. Most seasonal fish kills do not affect the quality of the lake’s water for swimming or boating; the quality of the other fish in the lake; or the ability to eat or consume fish from the lake.

Summer fish kills occur not just in Minneapolis lakes but in lakes throughout Minnesota. Hot, sunny weather combined with calm winds can contribute to conditions that lead to low oxygen levels.