The ongoing drought has many of Iowa’s streams and rivers receding like the hairline of a 50-year-old man, but an official with the Iowa D-N-R says it hasn’t been a problem for fish. Marion Conover, chief of the fisheries bureau, says low water has actually benefited the overall fish population.He says it keeps fish more concentrated and makes it easier for predator fish to find the bait fish they eat. Conover says it has also helped anglers. He says with the fish concentrated, it’s been easier for anglers to target the deep water pools and are doing well in catching catfish and other game fish. Conover says the nice weather has also been good news for fishing on lakes. He says the banks and sandbars exposed by the drought aren’t a worry unless the dry conditions continue and we have a cold winter. He says low water levels leave less oxygen capacity in the water, and ice blocks the ability of the lakes and rivers to replenish that oxygen. Another concern is the stuff that might run into the water from a rainfall. He says the streams and rivers are so low that whatever runs into them isn’t diluted very much, He says a big rain that sweeps a lot of nutrients into the water could lead to an oxygen sag. Conover says he expects runoff to create some problems. He says he wouldn’t be surprised to have some fish kills because of the run off. Conover says the weather the next couple of months will make a big difference in the health of the fish population through the winter.
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