Fish found in lakes and ponds can die because of many reasons which can include one or more of the following:
Should You Be Alarmed if You Find a Fish Kill?
Whether you have a lake or pond at your residence or you are running a park or a housing complex that has one of the two on the property there may not be a reason to panic if you see fish that have met their demise floating on the surface of your water.
The death of a few fish can be all-natural and have nothing to do with any noxious pollution killing them off or species that are invasive and completely the contrary of natural. If you know immediately that you are experiencing a full-blown fish kill, you should consult a professional like Crosscreek Environmental to handle your lake maintenance and return your property's ecosystem to a healthy condition. Large amounts of fish perishing at a high rate is definitely a cause for worry.
Why Do Fish Kills Happen?
When you find a huge amount of fish floating across the surface of your water property, this is indeed what is known as a fish kill. Fish kills don't only threaten the condition of the lake or pond, but the healthy state of the entire communities that contain them if they are not handled properly. If you have a fish kill and you are opting to attempt to handle the aquatic deaths on your own, you must realize that diagnosing the cause of the fish kill is the first step in the process because different perpetrators will call for different treatments and procedures.
If the levels of DO (dissolved oxygen) are low in your lake or pond this should be one of the first warning signs that the quality of your water has been compromised and can be directly tied to the decline of the entire ecosystem of the body of water. Low DO is found to be the most common culprit when diagnosing a fish kill. There are a few reasons why you may find reduced DO in your water. Atmospheric pressure, salinity and water temperature are the three inductors of whether the DO levels of a body of water are high or low. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the water temperatures rise too high it will lead to less oxygen in the water and the result will be the battle of the ages between the fish, algae, parasitic bacteria and everything in between with the winner getting some oxygen and the losers dying. The solution for depletion can often be consulting a lake maintenance professional such as Crosscreek Environmental to install a system to aerate the water.
No matter how hot or cold the water may be, fish always have to fight with aquatic greenery for natural resources found in their surroundings like sunshine and oxygen.
Plants that invade the entirety of the lake will eventually cause an oxygen decrease and cause algae to flourish because of nitrogen and phosphorous. If algae growth is a problem due to a phosphorous rich environment then a better waste management system and storm runoff could be the fix.
A few of the most offensive chemicals that cause fish kills are:
Sickness and Germs
Disease and parasitic bacteria are the easiest to visibly diagnose in a fish kill. The fish will display the following attributes:
Weather Changes and Storms
As discussed previously, drastic rising and falling of temps can cause fluctuations in the stability of water quality. The problem caused by high winds and storms is called turnover. This is the process when the oxygenated surface mixes with the opposite at the bottom of the body of water and causes buildups of carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. This usually occurs in the spring or fall.
How to Handle a Fish Kill
It is not advised to handle a fish kill without professional knowledge is not advised. If a kill goes neglected or is not handled properly the fish will decay and the water will suffer from a very unstable ecology. Once a kill begins, you cannot do much to halt the progress or save the fish that haven't already died. If you do not have professional knowledge of testing your water's quality and/or handling a fish kill, please contact Crosscreek Environmental to assist you with your lake maintenance.