Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, March 27, 2000

Winsted Lake suffers partial winterkill

Now that the ice has gone off Winsted Lake, it is apparent that the lake suffered at least a partial winterkill of fish.

"This is not a new occurrence for the lake and is the reason local supporters operate an aeration system at the lake," stated Gene Jeseritz, Hutchinson DNR. "Even with aeration, it is likely that there would be at least some loss of fish due to winterkill."Fish net catches

Aeration systems are not designed to save the whole lake, but rather to create a refuge area large enough for fish to hopefully survive the winter," said Jeseritz.

After people start seeing dead fish floating up on shore, the next question is whether some or all of the fish in the lake have died.

To help answer that question, Jeseritz stated that a fisheries crew placed nets into Winsted Lake on March 15. "The nets were lifted on March 16 and indicated that there are still many fish left in the lake," stated Jeseritz.

Nine species of fish were present. Most notably absent were bluegills. "This does not necessarily mean there are no bluegills present, just that we didn't catch any.

"We will have to further investigate the status of bluegills," stated Jeseritz.

What the DNR did find were fairly high numbers of black crappies, white crappies, and northern pike. "This was very encouraging and should ensure that there will be plenty of fish for anglers this summer," stated Jeseritz.

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