Toxic pond conditions kill fish, leave bad odor

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by WHAS editors

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 26 at 7:25 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)--  There is concern in two Louisville parks over a foul odor coming from dead fish. 

A WHAS11 viewer reached out to us with pictures of dead, decomposing fish in Chickasaw Pond. 

Major Waltman from the Olmsted Parks Conservancy said that smell comes from something called a fish kill. It's normally a natural phenomenon that occurs when fish don’t have enough oxygen. 

“The warmer air temperatures that we've been having increase the surface temperature of the water and as the water temperature increases it hold far less oxygen than when it’s cooler. That oxygen is very vital for aquatic organisms, including fish in ponds like this. When that oxygen is depleted the fish really start to struggle,” Waltman said. 

Waltman estimates 400 to 500 fish were killed in Willow Pond in Cherokee park just a few weeks ago. He says Chickasaw pond is also prone to fish kills because it’s so shallow. 

Ashley Harrod often walks her dog Cane by Chickasaw pond. She's noticed that foul smell in the past, but says it's much better now. 

“It was just a really fishy, really dirty smelling,” Harrod said, “It was kind of overtaking at one point in time so absolutely major difference.”

Waltman said you can report a fish kill to Parks and Recreation, but it’s a problem that largely takes care of itself---the fish usually decompose within a week. 

“I actually don’t recommend folks try to clean up the dead fish. It doesn’t really do much good for the pond and it’s a very smelly job, I certainly wouldn’t want to do it,” Waltman said.

 

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