Lake aquatic ecosystems likely aren’t getting enough oxygen

KEYC News Now at 6 Recording
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:53 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - With a higher than usual amount of snow sitting on top of local lakes, the DNR says that aquatic ecosystems likely aren’t getting enough oxygen.

The agency says underwater plants rely on sunlight shining through the ice, but several feet of snow prevents photosynthesis, depriving fish and other animals of oxygen in the water.

The DNR licenses different counties and fisheries to aerate their lakes when needed, which often involves cutting holes into the lake to provide a pocket of oxygen to form.

The DNR says that a drop in oxygen in certain lakes would result in the deaths of fish and other organisms, and that it’s particularly a concern this winter, with the large amount of snow that’s fallen.

”All the ones that aerate are up and running. And so those have those open water areas in like I said, where we create that open water area that should be a refuge where the oxygen levels are high enough for fish to go to,” said Durel Carstensen of the Minnesota DNR.

The DNR says that snowfall years like 2023 only happen once every five years.