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DNR: Dead Fish On Mpls. Lakes ‘Nothing To Worry About’

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(credit: CBS) Kim Johnson
Kim Johnson joined the WCCO-TV team in May 2014. You can find h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO0 — Sailboats and sparkling water are some of the things you expect to see when visiting Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.

But when the wind shifts the right way, you get a whiff of something that’s not so pleasant.

“I noticed a smell as I walked past this way, but I didn’t know what it was,” said resident Kate Pearce. “I assumed it maybe had to do with the geese.”

One look towards the water and you can see where it’s coming from. Dozens of fish have floated towards the shore.

TJ Debates, East Metro Area Fisheries supervisor with the DNR, says while it’s upsetting to look at, it’s a common and natural occurrence.

“Within probably a four-day period, water temps in the metro went from like low 50s to like low 70s,” Debates said.

That quick temperature change is stressing out the fish, making them more susceptible to getting sick. Minnesotans are used to seeing fish kills right after winter, when the ice melts off the lakes.

Debates says mid-June is another time it will happen.

“It’s very common and nothing to worry about,” he said.

The DNR says go ahead and enjoy the lakes and water. It’s still safe to swim in, but you just may have to plug your nose.

They say you can either remove the dead fish by tossing them in the trash or burying them in a garden.

You can also let Mother Nature run its course, as turtles and birds will eat the fish.

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