Hundreds of dead fish flood Mid-South lake - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hundreds of dead fish flood Mid-South lake

(WMC-TV) - Visitors to Patriot Lake at Shelby Farms Park may be shocked by the sight of hundreds of dead fish in the water, though park officials say there is little cause for concern.

"We've had a lot of fish turn up dead," spokesperson Jen Andrews said Monday.

Recent visitors have noted over the past several days the large number of dead fish in the lake.

It's not the first time this summer that a large-scale fish kill has been reported.  The same thing happened in June at Appling Lake in Bartlett.

Andrew said hot weather is the likely cause of this latest fish kill.

"The heat could have an affect on it," she said. "Any kind of environmental extreme is gonna affect oxygen levels in the water, and fish who are sensitive to that will be affected by it."

Most of the dead are Gizzard Shad. According to Andrews, the phenomena is a natural function of normal turnover - a way for the lake to manage its own waters.

Andrews said there is no bacteria, parasite or illness that is causing the fish to die, and there is no danger to the public or the environment.

She acknowledged, however, that the dead fish leave behind a unique odor.

"Our very hard-working rangers all unfortunately smell a little bit fishy right now," she said. "They've been wading in the water and cleaning it."

Andrews said a fish kill like the one Patriot Lake is currently experiencing happens every 12-18 months.

The park plans to expand and renovate Patriot Lake, which park official hope will minimize fish kills.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly