The weather this past week has been unpleasant to say the least and while we're sweating, some fish are really suffering.
Hundreds of northern pike are dying in area waters.
According to the Wisconsin DNR, there are at least 276 dead northern pike along the Wolf River between Lakes Poygan and Partridge, with reports of more dead in other lakes nearby.
DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist Kendall Kamke told FOX 11 it's unknown exactly how many northern are out here, but he's testing the waters to find out what's killing these fish.
"Since it is one species, it sort of points to something that isn't broad spectrum that would affect any kind of fish," said Kamke.
Kamke told us that "something" is the extreme heat from the past few weeks.
"It almost feels like warm bath water...we should have temperatures not much higher than the low 80's," said Kamke.
The temperature of the surface water in that particular area has been between 88 and 91 degrees, the problem is, the Northern Pike is a cool water fish,
"It appears to be heat stress, there's nothing that looks like a spill or a pollution," said Kamke.
Heat stress for the fish is like heat stroke for people.
Kamke told us it's unfortunate and also unusual, saying, "I haven't seen anything like this on the system here."
To make matters worse, the larger fish seem to be more affected. According to Kamke, most of the dead are about 30 inches, which is upsetting to fishermen like Dan Rudebeck.
"We had a really nice population of good-sized fish built up and everything was going great and now it's..." Rudebeck told us, at a loss for words.
Both anglers and the DNR hope for cooler waters ahead.
Kamke said it's unclear at this point how this die-off will affect the northern pike population, overall. He said if the water cools off soon, the impact is likely to minimal.
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