September 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm #416MikeKeymaster
By Angela D. Wagner, Tribune
The heat is being blamed for thousands of fish dying last week in the
Ocotillo residential development in south Chandler, as well as in
other Valley lakes.
Ocotillo residents first noticed dead fish along the edges of several
lakes March 23.
“The odor was horrible,” said resident John Virgona. “Our concern is
that these little silver fish were stocked to deal with the
mosquitoes and bugs.”
Kevin Scott of Premiere Management Co., which oversees Ocotillo’s
lake system, said the fish suffocated. He said the Valley’s sudden
leap in temperature caused the problem.
“As the water temperature increased, the microbes reproduced at an
exponential rate, and they sucked up all of the oxygen in the water,”
Scott said. “We have state-of-the-art aeration equipment that was
installed when the lakes were built two years ago, but you cannot
beat Mother Nature.”
Scott said the lakes will be restocked, but he didn’t know when. He
said the area will be sprayed for bugs in the first two weeks of
April. Residents will not be assessed for expenses associated with
the fish kill.
Rick Amalfi of Aquatic Consulting and Testing in Tempe, said he has
received six reports in the last week of fish kills Valleywide,
“What people have to realize is that algae produces oxygen during the
day when there is sunlight, and bacteria uses oxygen during the day
and all night,” Amalfi said. “If not enough oxygen is produced by the
algae during the day to supply the bacteria during the day and night,
then the oxygen gets lower and lower.”
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