Thousands of dead fish found in Arizona community ponds

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jul 16, 2018

Residents of a Maricopa neighborhood are growing concerned over the large number of dead fish found in their community ponds.

“My first reaction was, 'what the heck is going on here?'” resident Kevin Mcclelland said. 

“Probably another two, three hundred down there, just scattered all over the lake,” another resident said. 

People living in the Rancho El Dorado subdivision in Maricopa said it’s not just the sight of thousands of dead fish, but the smell.

“I have a fan outside in my backyard trying to blow the odor away from coming in the house, so it’s very bad,” Mcclelland said. 

On Saturday, Mcclelland said he noticed the fish were acting odd.

“Saturday morning I noticed fish bobbing up and down out of the water, I thought they were trying to get gnats on top of the water, but I noticed more than one,” Mcclelland said. 

What they were doing was trying to get air. 

“It’s typically called a summer kill,” Marc Dahlberg with Arizona Fish and Game said. 

Large fish kills like the one at Rancho El Dorafo happen when oxygen is depleted from the water during the summer months. 

Dahlberg said some cloudy days could halt the growth of aquatic plants, the main producer of oxygen. 

“After a while, the oxygen disappears, and the fish start dying,” Dahlberg said. 

Arizona Fish and Game is not investigating the kill due to it being on private property. 

To keep kills from happening, most large ponds have aeration systems to keep the water rich with oxygen. 

The community's homeowners association claimed the pond's aeration system is broken down in a letter sent to residents.

For a community built on the water and backyards to take advantage of it, residents say it’s time for action. 

“This is not the first time it has happened, so I hope they get their stuff together this time cause a third time definitely will not be a charm,” Mcclelland said. 

The community's HOA did not wish to comment on the matter. In their email to residents, HOA officials say they are stepping up to fix the problem immediately.