LAKE MANITOU—Reports of dead and dying fish on Lake Manitou have been reported across the lake in recent weeks with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry attributing this to spawning stress and warmer-than-normal surface water.
Dave Ham, who lives on the north side of Lake Manitou near Manitowaning, told The Expositor that he has heard reports of dead fish too and had three suckers wash up on his own shore and learned of dead pickerel in the next bay to his property.
When contacted by The Expositor, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) responded, “In the later part of May, the MNRF became aware of dead and dying fish in Lake Manitou. The majority of fish reported as dead or dying have been common white suckers.”
The MNRF went on to report that the mortality in late May was attributed to spawning stress combined with the weather conditions that were hotter (some days were over 30°C) and calmer than usual. “This past May, there was more rapid than normal surface water warming,” the MNRF reports.
Reports are continuing to come in and the MNRF is working to obtain fresh samples to provide to the University of Guelph for testing.
The public can report large fish die-offs by calling 1-800-667-1940. Information that a caller will be asked to provide includes: name and contact information; location (as close as possible by District, Township, water body); number and species of fish, if known (e.g., carp, yellow perch, bass, etc.); condition of fish (dying, dead, decomposed); and recent weather or environmental conditions.