The Watershed Center Explains Why Dead Fish are Washing Ashore Grand Traverse Bay

Many walking along the beach are wondering why large amounts of dead fish are washing ashore the Grand Traverse Bay.

The Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay says this completely normal with the start of spring.

“It has a lot to do with whether or not we had ice on the bay or on the lakes where we’re seeing the fish kills, how much oxygen was in there, so there’s a lot of things that go into that,” said Christine Crissman, executive director of The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. “But it’s not unusual to see a large amount of fish that are washing up on a shore from a fish kill.”

Once the ice starts to melt, thousands of dead fish can wash up that may have died and been trapped over the winter.

“Unless we’re seeing huge, massive amounts of a lot of different species, then it’s generally not a huge concern, it’s sort of a natural part of what happens in the Great Lakes,” said Crissman.

Most of the fish reported have been alewives. Luckily, this is a temporary cycle.