DNR Says Big Sandy Lake Fish Deaths Result of Flooding

By KBJR News 1

July 23, 2012 Updated Jul 23, 2012 at 7:55 PM CDT

Aitkin County (Northland's NewsCenter) - According to Minnesota DNR officials, fish near Big Sandy Lake in Aitkin County have been dying in higher than usual numbers. The DNR says the deaths have likely been a result of last month's record flooding on the lake, paired with warm water temperatures.

Officials say that the flood waters washed organic materials into the lake, which have used up a large portion of the lake's oxygen, killing the fish.

"That water and the microbes in the water are basically using up oxygen, just like fish would, only they're using it up at a much higher rate than normal because of all this flushing of organics," said Area Fisheries Supervisor for Aitkin County, Rick Bruesewitz.

DNR officials say that they don't have an exact number of fish that have been killed due to the lack of oxygen.

They say that this fish kill is a new experience for them because they haven't seen flooding like this around Big Sandy Lake in decades.