Gizzard Shad Die Off in Presque Isle Bay - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Gizzard Shad Die Off in Presque Isle Bay

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A lot of dead fish are starting to wash up along Presque Isle bay. But biologists say there is no reason to be alarmed.

 It is a die off of gizzard shad, a fish very sensitive to cold weather. And often, large numbers of the fish die over the winter, then are pushed on shore when the ice melts on the bay.

 Last year's kill was huge. Experts doubt there will be a repeat this spring. But they do expect more shad to be washing ashore in the coming days. They say the best advice is to stay away from the fish.

 Great Lakes Biologist Nate Irwin said, "I mean they are rotting fish. So obviously you don't want to be near them, touching them, or letting your dog play with them. So just avoid them. They are just a natural part of the system."

 The biggest problem created by the annual die off is the foul smell, especially when the weather warms up.

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