Hundreds of fish die in residential pond; experts weigh in



JACKSON, Tenn. — Hundreds of dead fish are floating to the surface of one residential pond, creating a stench that spans blocks in the neighborhood.

“I’ve heard of it, never seen it before though, not like this,” said Al Trefz, who lives across from the lake. “I have a couple-day project ahead of me, because I have to clean these [fish] out of here.”

Those who live by the lake noticed the fish two days ago, an unsightly problem they’ve never dealt with before.

But the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said it’s more common than a lot of people think.

“In the spring, those small bodies of water experience a phenomenon we call turnover,” said Dave Gabbard, an information officer for TWRA.

Gabbard said a turnover happens when the warmer top layer of a pond switches to the bottom, where the coldest water usually can be found.

“That layer of water is totally void of any dissolved oxygen the fish need,” he said.

Gabbard said it happens to all area lakes and ponds this time of year, but its effects aren’t always as noticeable.

One expert who came to inspect the lake said neighbors will also get a little help from mother nature.

“Between turtles, buzzards, raccoons and other wildlife, the fish rarely last more than a few days,” said Luke Moran, an employee with Southeastern Pond Management.

Experts said the best way to avoid a turnover in your pond or lake is to add a fountain system to keep the water mixed.

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