Anglers dealing with hot weather, possible fish kill

Anglers have had to contend with hot weather in recent days. (Star file photo)

Anglers have had to contend with hot weather in recent days. (Star file photo)

BIG RAPIDS - The DNR is telling fishermen that with extremely hot weather this week and next, they may witness a fish kill, which can occur naturally in lakes and streams during periods of hot weather.

The DNR added it is not unusual to see dead or dying fish when this happens. High temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels combined cause stress on fish, the DNR reported in its weekly fishing report, adding "most that are prone to summer kills are pike, perch, suckers, bass and bluegill living in shallow, productive lakes or bays with excessive amounts of algae or rooted aquatic vegetation.

"The plants consume large amounts of oxygen at night, causing a temporary shortage just before dawn. A cloudy, calm day extends the critical period by reducing reoxygenation from photosynthesis and wave action. Fish in oxygen-depleted areas do not sense the danger and therefore do not swim to deeper water."

In Mecosta County, the DNR said bass fishing is fair, but the bluegill and perch fishing slowed at Lake Mecosta. It added Chippewa Lake had decent bass fishing in the early morning.

"The bit continues to be good," Tom Vernon, of Frank's Sporting Goods, in Morley said. "Largemouth and smallmouth bass are real good. They're doing good on walleyes both in Croton and Hardy ponds along with the river. Trout fishing is a little slower although there's trout to be had. Pan fish are no longer on the beds but the guys are doing well on them."

In Osceola County, "things have really picked up," Brad Cox of Buck's Country Bait store in LeRoy said. "Rose Lake is producing pretty good fish. There's also Sunrise Lake and Diamond Lake. Everybody is out and about."

In northwest Michigan, those anglers at Frankfort who are fishing straight out and to the north caught good numbers of lake trout 60 to 90 feet down in 100 to 160 feet, the DNR said. A temperature break was reported 65 to 75 feet down while chinook were caught on meat rigs in the early morning and at dusk. The Chinook numbers were low, the DNR said.

At Portage Lake, a mayfly hatch means slower catch rates, the DNR said, while adding the warm weather has pushed the bass, perch and other panfish into deeper water. The bite at Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell, the DNR said, will slow with the hot weather. Topwater bass fishing should be decent.

"Because of the heat, it's slowed down," Dewey Buchner, of Don's Sporting Good's in Manistee said. "I haven't heard of much action going on. They were getting a few walleyes off the piers and off the docks off First Street in Manistee. On the Manistee, they're getting some bluegills, some nice bass and a few nice pike. They're hooking up with a some nice walleyes in the river."

A few Chinook and a couple steelhead were caught straight out on the "Shelf" and slightly north in 100 feet with spoons in Lake Michigan at Manistee, the DNR said. Lake trout were caught along the bottom in 100 to 200 feet with spoons and spin-glo's.

The hex hatch at the Manistee River, the DNR said, should be going full bore on the upper river. Water levels were very fishable.

"They're going pretty good," Rob Eckerson, of Pappy's Bait Shop in Wellston, said. "They're catching brown trout with the mayfly hatch. Most people are out at night on the trout streams looking for the bug hatch. The inland lakes, the bluegill spawn has been disrupted by the cold fronts but they should be back. There's a salmon or two showing up at Tippy Dam. We're anticipating a few more of the summer run steelhead showing up at Tippy."

Hamlin Lake, the DNR said, had fair to good pike fishing. Panfish were in deeper water.

Lake trout were caught 60 to 80 feet down in 70 to 150 feet off Big Sable Point at Ludington, the DNR said. A couple Chinook were found between the harbor and Big Sable Point in 100 to 200 feet, the DNR said.

Steelhead were found in 140 to 300 feet, the DNR said. Most were using spoons and spin-glo's or a flasher/fly combo, the DNR said

Big Star Lake: In Lake County reported good bass fishing, the DNR added.

Fishing Tip: How to know if you've found an invasive species

Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm, to Michigan's economy, environment or human health.

Think you've found an invasive species? Familiarize yourself with potential invasive species threats to Michigan by visiting and clicking on the "Species Profiles & Reporting Information" box.

Once there, you can search for species of plants, insects, diseases, mollusks, fish, mammals, birds or crustaceans and learn about Watch List versus non-Watch List species. You can also learn how to identify invasive species and how to report it if you think you've found one.