Photo of dead fish from Dean Lake taken by Steve Milewski.
PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The view of the glistening waters of Dean Lake has been overtaken by the smell of dead fish the past few days.
"When you're out on the lake you start to notice all the white, their bellies turn up, so you see white spots," says lake resident Bill Haddix. "When you see more than ten it's quite a bit."
The about 200 pike in the lake suddenly died off. Scott Hanshue, a DNR fish biologist, says hot weather is to blame.
"The long days and extended heat during the night elevated the temperatures in the lake until it was lethal," says Hanshue.
Most pike live in northern Michigan, but West Michigan is the southern point of their habitat.
The DNR says pike need water that is cooler than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. With our recent hot days, lake temperatures climbed to 90 degrees.
"In some water bodies they can seek refuge by diving," says Hanshue. "In this case, these were shallow areas. The water temperature was consistent through whole water colony, so they couldn't escape."
The fish essentially died from heat stroke, which biologists say is a rare occurrence.