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DNR expecting fish kill on Big Eau Pleine

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The aeration system at the Big Eau Pleine reservoir
The aeration system at the Big Eau Pleine reservoir

MOSINEE, Wis. (WSAU) - The Department of Natural Resources is concerned that low oxygen levels in the Big Eau Pleine reservoir could lead to a fish kill.

Biologist Tom Meronek says that fish kill might already have started as a rush of low-oxygen water has entered the 6000 acre reservoir. Combined with heavy snow cover that's preventing algae from making more oxygen, that makes for a dangerous situation. "The low oxygen levels are a little more widespread than in 2009." That's when the last major fish kill brought thousands of dead game fish to the surface after the thaw.

Meronek says the lake's aeration system has been activated, but that it's not enough to handle this sort of oxygen depletion. “It was designed to create a fish refuge when needed. It was never meant to aerate the entire 6,000-acre reservoir.” Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company has been monitoring the reservoir along with the DNR and both have agreed there's not much they can do at this time to prevent a fish kill.

Officials will continue to monitor the lake over the coming months.

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