The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Thousands of Fish Found Dead Along Lakefront

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 12, 2011 4:04PM

2011_1_12_dead_fish.jpg When thousands of blackbirds wound up dying in Arkansas on New Year's Eve, and another 500 later in Louisiana, we chalked it up at the time to some hillbilly messing around with a giant Tesla coil. It seemed as reasonable an explanation as the "they was spooked by the holiday fireworks" theory bandied about by some Arkansans. So what's to explain the thousands of dead gizzard shad that geese and mallards are feasting on along the lakefront? According to one biologist, they're sensitive.

Biologist Dan Makauskas told the Sun-Times that these members of the herring family don't respond well to drops in oxygen levels in the water. Since the thick ice on the lake came with the first major snowfall in December — earlier than expected — the shad started dying off in abnormal numbers.