Alewive die-off litters beaches

FRANKFORT, Mich. (AP) – Dead fish that have been washing up on Lake Michigan beaches in the northern Lower Peninsula have inconvenienced cleanup crews, but an expert said they’re a sign of the lake’s health.

Frankfort had scores of dead alewives on its beaches last week, and similar die-offs have happened farther south in Ludington and Manistee.

Fisheries biologist Mark Tonello of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the multi-billion dollar sport fishing industry depends on healthy alewife populations to feed the salmon that anglers prize.

Tonello tells said unseasonably cold water killed the alewives. He said the size of the die-off is a good sign for Lake Michigan fisheries.