The lack of snow cover on southern Minnesota lakes is helping with the recovery of northern pike.
Extreme heat in 2012 decimated the species. Waterville Area Fisheries officials say the lack of snow has allowed sunlight to penetrate the ice and help with the growth of aquatic plants. That improves oxygen levels for the fish.
Water levels on southern Minnesota lakes are well below normal because of drought conditions. The Free Press reports experts say southern Minnesota will need late-winter snow and plenty of spring and summer rain to return normal levels.