PORTAGE — State officials believe the dead fish discovered Sunday near a marina along the East Branch of the Little Calumet River died of natural causes.
James Brindle, Indiana Department of Natural Resources communications director, confirmed Monday that "a couple hundred" dead shad were spotted by Miller's Westerman's Marina in Portage.
Brindle said all indications are the fish deaths were "a natural event."
Shad appears to be the only fish species affected, and no other negative effects on wildlife — including birds eating the shad — have been observed, Brindle said.
According to the DNR, shad die-offs are common in Indiana winters, especially when the temperature suddenly drops from the 30s and 40s to well below freezing — as it did last week in Northwest Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is expected to conclusively determine the cause of the Portage fish kill in coming days.
How much do Porter County officials get paid?
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