Frog kills reported in lakes and ponds

As the ice thaws across the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has received reports of dead frogs along the shoreline of several lakes and ponds. This is a natural occurrence. After ice-out there are often reports of dead frogs, especially after winters with low water levels, like last winter.

Northern leopard frogs are the species most susceptible to this phenomenon. Frogs are relatively inactive in winter, and can be vulnerable to low oxygen levels in shallow water, according to Carol Hall, DNR herpetologist.

The public is likely to see some turtle and fish winterkill in the next few weeks as well, although these are usually able to move to more oxygen-rich water, if it's available.

To report a frog kill event, submit the number of individual animals observed, the species observed (if known), and location (lake/pond and city/county) to nongame.dnr@state.mn.us. Photos of the site are also helpful.

More information on frog and toad issues may be found on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/reptiles_amphibians/disease.html.

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