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FISH FOUL: Possible blue-green algae outbreak shocks Owasso neighborhood

Dead Fish
Posted at 9:58 PM, Jul 05, 2024

OWASSO, Okla. — An Owasso neighborhood is in shock after hundreds of dead fish mysteriously floated up in their ponds.

The possible culprit is blue-green algae. 2 News spoke to one resident in the Lake Valley Neighborhood. Dawna Foreman's house backs up to Pond 1 which saw the majority of the dead fish.

"Gross! What the heck? You know," she said.

She still remembers the smell of dead fish. She didn't know what killed the fish but heard it was algae. She said it was not only the fish that were the problem; it was the days of heat that cooked them before they were cleaned up.

"Oh my lord, you can’t because it was 103 degrees right, and we know they had sat there for two days, so we were just like," said Foreman.

While the fish's cause of death is still unclear, blue-green algae have been known to be harmful.

2 News talked with Aquatic Biology Expert Marley Beem about the algae.

"It’s typically something we see more often in the warmer months of the year and in ponds that are high in nutrients oftentimes because of runoff from chemical fertilizers into the pond or animal waste," said Beem.

He said blue-green algae is not as common as we think. However, when it is there, it can be toxic.

"It has the potential to make a person ill, but it’s more commonly a problem for livestock, I guess, and occasionally there are fish kills as a result," said Beem.

He said pets and livestock are also susceptible. The Lake Valley HOA posted a warning to residents about the algae.

Lake Valley facebook post

The issues started in Pond 1; however, due to the connecting nature of all six ponds in the neighborhood, the HOA decided to close them as a precautionary measure.

It was in a later post they told people to stay clear of those other ponds.

2 News reached out to the homeowners association. It sent the following statement:

As soon as we were notified of a problem, we contacted our pond contractor to investigate. We notified our neighborhood of the issue and advised them to steer clear. We trust in the experts working to help resolve the problem and bring our ponds back to health.

Foreman said the whole situation is odd.

"We didn’t know if someone had dumped them there. Or if it’s algae and there are other bottom-feeder fish in the pond, why didn’t they die? I don’t know, it’s just weird," said Foreman.

The Oklahoma Environmental Quality said if you suspect there is a bloom in a body of water near you, so please contact them at (800) 522-0206.

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