BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - News 4 received inquiries on Facebook and e-mails with photos showing several dead fish in areas in the Erie Basin Marina where the ice has melted and along the Lake Erie shoreline.
Many have speculated that there has to be something wrong with the lake, like high acidity or low oxygen levels, to cause the large number of dead fish.
But the fish are Gizzard Shad, and their deaths have nothing to do with pollution. Rather, the dead fish are there because of the cold temperatures in Buffalo and Western New York.
"It's not unusual for them to die in large numbers this time of year, especially when there has been a lot of ice cover and cold weather," explained Mark Clapsadl a biologist for Buffalo State College Great Lakes Center.
While still above average this February, the temperatures in March have been rather cold, especially compared to last year. If you can recall, in March of 2012, WNY saw temperatures in the 80s and 15 days were above 60 degrees. So far this year we have seen two days with comparable warmth.
"These fish are all what we call young of the year. They were hatched last year, they would be a year old around this May and they seem to be more susceptible to the cold then the larger fish," Clapsadl said.
So there is nothing to be concerned about. This is not an uncommon event and should not present any danger to the rest of the wildlife in the area or to the lake.
Clapsadl said, "I don't think this is going to be presenting anybody any big problems. The birds are happy about it; they are eating a lot of them. What they don't eat will decay and won't cause any problems for us."
An eight-year-old boy was shot Thursday morning in Cattaraugus County. Officials are at the scene on West Road, in Leon.
There is another Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties from Thursday through early Friday.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings return today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
Viewers sent in photos from the snowfall around Western New York.