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Cold Temps Kill Thousands of Fish in the Olentangy River

COLUMBUS (Andrew Michael/Kate Liebers) -- Wildlife biologists investigated the Olentangy River Tuesday after reports of a mass fish death.

Hundreds of seagulls feasted Tuesday on small dead fish floating just below the murky water, near where the Olentangy dumps into the Scioto River.

Ohio Division of Wildlife's Karen Norris said the recent sub-zero temperatures killed off thousands of gizzard shad, a temperature-sensitive species.

Norris was not alarmed.

She said the fish would produce an abundance of offspring when the weather warms. Those that did not survive provided valuable nutrition for other animals.

"After a cold snap like that, birds and other wildlife need a food source," Norris said. "So they will eat pretty much whatever is available."

Wildlife officers said these dead fish pose no danger for the animals that will eat them.

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