Fish Kill in Lake City
There are more than one thousand fewer fish swimming around Lake Montgomery today. It happened back in April, and again this weekend.
"I was really appalled that so many fish died," says Genny Hazelip of Lake City.
Genny Hazelip and her husband say they come to Lake Montgomery at least once a week. She says there's no place like it, but when Hazelip heard thousands of fish died over the weekend, she says she had to know why. Biologist Brian Hilton says it was a force of nature.
"We had an algae bloom, which is a buildup of algae," says Hilton.
Hilton says this is the second time in three months that this has happened. They restocked the lake with more fish since the last fish kill in April and Hilton says now those fish are dead too. He says the reason the fish died is because of a lack of oxygen due to the algae bloom.
Experts say if an oxygen meter reads below one, the fish will start dying. Hilton says it really depends on the size of the fish, but anything lower than a reading of two means trouble. A variety of fish lost their lives inclucing bass, catfish, blugill's, and shiners - just to name a few.
"A lot of lawns and homes are around the lake - you get fertilization run off and we have a drainage system so it gets a lot of poor water quality," says Hilton.
Hilton says there's no way to prevent things like this from happening. With only four fish biologists in the region, Hilton says it's difficult to be at all lakes at all times.
But he says he'll be checking the oxygen meter more often, in hope of keeping the water safer for the fish.
By Thalia Hayden, WCJB TV20 News.
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