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Pond owners advised to check for winterkill after ice gone

March 10, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Pond owners are being advised to check for winterkill after the ice is gone.

Jeff Blaser with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says the prolonged winter and recent frigid weather are keeping ponds covered with snow and ice well into March, creating conditions for winterkill.

Snow and ice covering a pond prevent the water from exchanging oxygen with the air. The snow and ice allow little sunlight penetration, so plants can’t produce much oxygen. If the cover persists, the plants die. Subsequent decomposition, along with respiration by various aquatic organisms, can completely deplete the oxygen supply. The fish die.

Blaser suggests owners check the status of their ponds’ fish populations this spring. The findings could indicate whether the ponds are candidates for restocking

Pond owners can contact Blaser at 402-471-5435 for suggestions on handling major fish kills.