LINDENHURST, Ill. (CBS) — By the thousands, fish are dying in the shallower man-made lakes of the Chicago area.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports that the long, cold winter is to blame.

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At sunset Tuesday night, two neighbors came to the edge of Lake Linden in Lindenhurst to get a first-hand look at the catfish, sunfish, pike and others that have washed up. The deaths are the result of the heavy ice cover that now persists into April.

“The sunlight’s not able to penetrate through into the water and that reduces over time, the dissolved oxygen levels and that stresses the fish out and eventually if it gets low enough, the fish will die,” said Mike Adam, senior biologist for the Lake County Health Department’s lake management unit.

Lake Linden is now a big draw for gulls and crows who peck through the ice to get at the growing number of fish carcasses in the water. Residents who live along the 31 acre lake are worried about the summer.

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“It’s very sad cause there’s some really big fish, some big catfish that are out there, so it’s kind of sad we’re losing the big ones too,” said Lindenhurst resident Kathy Gernady.

“It’s another example of how harsh our winter was this year,” said Adam.

If this fish kill goes on much longer and it might, the owners of these lakes will have to think about restocking for the future.

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Experts say the brutal winter will not mean fewer mosquitos or ticks.