Natural History Note

High waters benefit some species and challenge others. Photo by Mike Winslow.

Lake flooding presents a mixed bag for the animals of the region. Some fish species will likely benefit from the extra area for spawning. In particular, pike, pickerel, and carp spawn in shallows along the shore and the extra water increases the area they can access. Ducks have been feeding in flooded fields also taking advantage of the space available to them. Mosquitoes should flourish with all the extra water available to them for breeding. Many animals are less lucky. Fish and other animals taking advantage of the high water can become trapped when the water finally does recede. High turbidity from all the silt and sediment flowing in makes it more difficult for animals that hunt in the water by sight to see their prey. Many mussels may have been smothered by all the extra sediment washing into the lake.