Thousands of dead fish washed up in Wyndham Lake in Henrico
Experts say the hot temperatures caused oxygen levels in water to drop, killing thousand of fish
HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) -
Dozens of people walk, run and bike by Wyndham Lake every day, but Wednesday, the sight of dead fish and the smell, stopped them in their tracks.
“We started riding like around the lake and there were only like two or three and then we kept going and they are like all around the edge. It's crazy,” said Haley Kirby.
About 3,000 dead fish washed up onto the lake's shore.
"Then I saw more and more and I was shocked,” said Rick Vetrone, a resident.
So what caused all the fish to die? The Department of Environmental Quality sent a scientist to test the water, and it turns out the heat is to blame.
"The hot weather can cause the water to evaporate, and as the water goes down, even if it's a slight amount, it affects the amount of oxygen in the water...it sort of dissolves into the air. When that oxygen is not available for the fish in the water, they die,” said Bill Hayden, the spokesperson for DEQ.
Hayden says it happens a few times every summer, so it's not uncommon.
But it is uncommon in this neighborhood and for these residents.
"We've been here for six years, and we've never experienced this,” said Ben Davis, a resident.
"It's the most fish I've ever seen on the surface,” said Teddy Corl.
"They're all white and turned upside down. It's just kind of sad to see so many fish dead like that,” said Vetrone.
Hayden says this can happen in any lake under the right conditions, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.