MIDLAND – While many chose to enjoy the nice weather over the weekend at CJ Kelly Park, others were disturbed to find dozens of dead fish.
“There was like over two dozen dead fish just floating around on the edge and then there was some dead fish pulled out of the water and then around the bridge over there they were floating upward,” Billy Stroud said.
Fish and wildlife experts say it’s all because of something called Golden Alga, which produces toxins that kill anything that breathes with gills, such as fish and mussels. Luckily, it’s not believed to be harmful to other animals or humans.
“So if you have been fishing in that pond or you’re around that pond, there’s no danger to you. The only toxins affect the fish,” Sara Bustilloz, the spokesperson for the City of Midland, said.
City officials say they started noticing the fish dying just weeks after testing the water and restocking the pond. Although it’s not clear why the Golden Alga bloomed, many believe the recent weather conditions might be the cause.
“One of the main things to know is that it should be decreasing soon as our temperatures increase and the green algae starts to balance out the golden algae in the water so that you don’t have those toxic levels anymore,” Annaliese Scoggin, a Technical Guidance Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, said.
The pond will not be restocked with fish until the water tests clean. For now, they’re waiting it out and hoping to not have to use chemicals.
“It’s really unfortunate all the way around,” Bustilloz said. “It’s a huge investment from the city that now no longer is there and we try to take care of our ponds as best as we can but there’s some things that are naturally occurring that you can only do so much about.”
Unfortunately, there are not many fish left in the pond at CJ Kelly but city officials say you might have better luck fishing at Beal Park.
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