Low oxygen levels, plankton cause of fish kill


ROCHELLE – Local residents have reported seeing dead fish floating in the water and along the banks of Lake Sule in Rochelle, but the park district says there is no need to be concerned.
Two residents called into the Rochelle News-Leader office Monday morning to report fish of all kinds floating all around Lake Sule and along its banks. One woman went to the lake to go fishing and was totally shocked when she saw the lake full of floating, bloated dead fish.
The other caller said he drove from out of town to the lake, since he had heard from others that it was a great fishing spot. Upon arrival, he saw all of the dead fish and left without casting a single line. The Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District executive director Jackee Ohlinger was contacted and said the dead fish are due to recent environmental conditions.
“This occurred about the same time last year and is nothing to be alarmed about,” Ohlinger said. “It is due to low oxygen levels in the lake from low water levels and plankton bloom that doesn’t allow the sunlight to penetrate into the water.”
Lake Sule offers many different types of fish including bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, muskie, sunfish and walleye. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is responsible for stocking and maintaining Lake Sule and it has recently been notified about the dead fish.