Post By: FlyWaters Posted: 6/25/2012 6:41:53 AMPoints: 40
I spent 4 or 5 hours at Ketring park lake yesterday. Unfortunately I didn't catch a thing or get a single bite. Being the stubborn man that I am, I went back at 5:30 this morning to catch the morning feeding frenzy. When I got there, I found 100's of fish dead on the shore and a thin film of material clinging to the top of the water.
The fish were of many size and species. Confirmed varieties include LMB, catfish (saw 2 or 3 that were about 28" long dieing in the shallows by the dock), crappie, and a few perch species.
I wonder if it was fertilizer runoff from the park, or something related to the two farms on the other side.
Reply by: FlyWaters Posted: 6/25/2012 8:36:45 AM Points: 40
I would call the spill report center however, I can't prove it was a spill. I can certainly verify there were no dead fish on the shore/in the shallows yesterday afternoon up to about 6:45PM. There were hundreds about 11 hours later.
When I called the south suburban parks and rec. they seemed to think it was water temperature, since the last few days have been so warm. We did get some big gusts of wind last night (could have pushed dead fish in the deeps up into the shallows), but I'm pretty skeptical of that argument.
I know they pump oxygen into the lake at 3 points. Could the algae bloom the last few days caused the oxygen level to drop below that required to keep fish?
Reply by: spicyhombre Posted: 6/25/2012 9:02:47 AM Points: 5430
The only time I have seen a kill that big was a pond in NY. It was caused by algae bloom causing lack of oxygen. The algae on surface blocks oxygen from air from absorbing into water. They added pumps to circulate water to bring the fishery back. It happened the same way. Mass die off over night.
Water in pics looks too clear for this. Maybe the mystery film in water is causing the same thing.
Reply by: Phishermin Posted: 6/25/2012 9:19:48 AM Points: 163
I'd be surprised if it was due to low oxygen since there are airerators in the lake, not saying it couldn't happen, but that's what they're put in to prevent. The water there has been low and there was some bad algae going on a couple weeks ago out there.. It's a shame, this was a fun place to take kids, hopefully everything isn't dead :(
Reply by: slicedog Posted: 6/25/2012 10:24:02 AM Points: 91
Algae actually consumes oxygen at nght. Also, there could have been a large algae dieoff due to an algae bloom, in which the algae dies and sinks to the bottom of the pond, and bacteria break it down, using oxygen in the process, causing the bottom of the pond to become anoxic.
Reply by: FISHRANGLER Posted: 6/25/2012 11:11:04 AM Points: 1682
So I had to go see for myself and you are correct all the species in the lake are affected.Cats, crappie, gills and LMB, crawdads They film in the picture is only isolated in one area of the lake and this was not cause by a chemical spill IMO No water has been pumped in over a year the lake is 2 ft low. There is nothing really to fertilize in the park area and the farm/ library/ ZOO what ever it is has no fields right next to the lake. We have not had rain there lately so that doesn't make sense. Two of the aerators are not working up to snuff after talking to the parks guy, all he said "well that's what you get with 100 degree temps dead fish". I told him about the aerators not working properly and he seems to think they are. Not IMO they are not..Only one of them is working properly.So I called littleton, they said they would check into it more. But I think the low O2 has done its deed and this has killed most of the fish over night. The fish that are there are gulping for air and thousands and thousands of all sizes of Crawdads are climbing the rocks and weeds to get out. As I thought there were some very large cats in the lake, now just floating around and the rest will surely die from the heat and stress today and tomorrow. Nothing can be done. No fresh water available. If any do survive they will parish from the decaing fish more then likly. The cat hole is dead. It did not have records size cats in it but it was a nice place to fish. For the LMB guys they are dead also. There were some nice ones in there.
What they shoud do is electro shock or net the lake over the next couple days and relocate the fish that are still alive . Then drain the lake and claen up all the dead fish and start over. I say this only becuase it already really smells bad and that neighborhood is not going to like that smell once it gets really cooking out there. Just a idea its not the that large it is more a neighborhood pond. Dont know if they even can do it?
Fishrangler, thanks for the update. I had to run off to work. So I had limited time to call and ask around. I'm glad someone here got to talk to a parks guy.
I'm pretty saddened by this incident. I haven't had much of an opportunity to fish in Colorado and I was hoping to get some nice weekday practice out of the lake, work out the new rod/reel, and turn over some perch and crappie.
Anybody got a suggestion for another small lake nearby?
I have seen this before in Florida. It looks like Summerkill to me. With the temps being as high as they have been, and not getting the rain. The oxygen gets used up and the fish die off. I'm not saying that this is for sure, just a guess. That's what it looks like to me.
Reply by: FlyWaters Posted: 6/26/2012 9:26:00 AM Points: 40
I got ahold of a guy from the parks and wildlife office. He forwarded my e-mail and info to a biologist responsible for the area. Unfortunately, he told me the fires have made everyone extremely busy. Let's hope something comes of it. I also notified the Littleton Independent newspaper to see if some goold ol' fashioned journalism could follow-up on it.
Reply by: FlyWaters Posted: 6/26/2012 11:37:47 AM Points: 40
This is what I received from Paul Winkle, the aquatic biologist responsible for this area. He mentioned Ketner as being on the stocking list, but I'll assume he means Ketring. Guess I'll be back this fall.
"I’ve contacted the local Wildlife Officer to take a look at Ketring Lake. The fact that the kill occurred over one evening is strong evidence that dissolved oxygen levels dropped to lethal levels overnight. The very hot weather we’ve been having has warmed water temperatures to levels that hold much less oxygen compared to cooler water temps. This phenomenon is termed a “summer kill”. Although it is unfortunate to lose those fish, Ketner is on the annual stocking schedule and will be stocked with fingerling bluegill and catchable catfish this fall."
Reply by: colin Posted: 6/26/2012 10:52:12 PM Points: 472
i was there a couple days ago and the water was normal ...greenish lots of vegetation ...today the vegetation was all but gone and the water was blue..blue like toilet water..even some of the fish were coated with the blue. I wonder if they put something in to kill the algae or something and put too much
Reply by: slicedog Posted: 6/27/2012 7:17:06 AM Points: 91
The blue you see is the water is algae. With all those nutrients in the water from dead fish and plants, you can expect the algae to bloom pretty quickly, which will just lead to even less disolved o2 in the water.
No the blue coloration comes from copper sulfate, which is commonly applied to kill algae by blocking out the light required for the algae to survive. Theoretically, they could have dumped it in there, killing all the algae and causing a dip in oxygen which in turn kills fish.
Usually copper sulfate doesn't work that quickly, so it was probably a combination of factors that led to low oxygen.
I heard back from SSPR about the lake. Here's what I received in an e-mail:
Thank you for your interest in the situation at Ketring Lake. The fish kill was not something we planned for or expected. However, the recent record breaking high tempretures combined with the decomposing organic matter left behind buy the ducks and geese caused the lake water to turnover further increasing the water temp and lowering the dissolved oxygen in the lake which resulted in some of the fish dying. One of the best solutions to this problem would be to add more water to the lake unfortunately filling the lake requires water from the Highline Canal. Due to the dry spring weather and minimal runoff there is a strong possibility the canal will not run this summer or fall. Parks staff has added two more air diffusers to the existing aeration system to pump more air into the lake as well as running small pumps on the perimeter of the lake during daytime hours to help circulate lake water. Staff will also continue to remove the dead fish from the lake on a regular basis. South Suburban staff contacted the Colorado Dept of Parks and Wildlife and their assessment of the situation is essentially the same as stated in the first paragraph above. Ketring is on the Wildlife Department’s schedule for restocking this fall with channel catfish and bluegill fingerlings. Additional bass are planned to be added the following year. If you should have any additional questions or concerns regarding Ketring Lake/Park please do not hesitate to contact me at 303-994-9028 or at email@example.com Best Regards, Rocky WilliamsSouth Suburban Parks and Recreation DistrictSupervisor of Grounds, Trails and Natural Open Space
We periodically have the same problem in some of our low elevation ponds during the monsoon season. When there are heavy clouds during the day there is not enough radiation for the plants use to create oxygen, so the bacteria uses up the available oxygen while trying to break down the detritus that the feed on. It usually happens in late July or early August when the monsoon is at it peak.