Dead Fish Washing Up on Shore of Sugar Lake

Published 04/28 2014 05:46PM

Updated 04/29 2014 07:41AM

(SUGAR LAKE, Mo.) Thousands of dead fish have taken over the shores of Sugar Lake. The fish have been there since February and with summer approaching those who live at the lake want something done.

"I look out my back window and the edge of the lake is all lined up with dead fish," said resident Fred Simmerman. "It looks terrible."

Simmerman has lived near Sugar Lake for the past 40 years. He says he's never seen so many dead fish before.

Other people who live nearby said the smell is just too much to handle.

"It's not only the smell but just an eyesore," said Simmerman.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says a harsh winter is to blame for the dead fish. Scientists believe the fish died in the winter due to a lack of oxygen. They are no plans to remove the fish, instead MDC says it will let the fish decompose.

"There's a lot of fish out there," said MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Eric Dennis. "Access to the fish is going to be hard to get too. Often times it's easier to let nature take it's course."

Dennis said dead fish showing up isn't unusual and could happen at any time. Since Sugar Lake is so shallow, there's nothing that can be done to stop this from happening in the future.

"There's really nothing we can do as far as pumping water or adding oxygen. We've done that in the past and it really isn't helping a whole lot," added Dennis.

But those who live nearby want them gone.

"I would be out there clearing those fish if I had the equipment," added Simmerman.

Scientists say the lake is still safe to fish from but the number of fish in the lake may not be worth the trouble. Ninety percent of the fish in Sugar Lake are Asian Carp.

To learn more about the Missouri Department of Conservation, click here.

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