Number of Dead Fish in McKinley Pond Unusually High

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Many Sacramento residents raised concern about the dozens of dead fish floating in the McKinley Park Pond.

Kids playing at the park were shocked, pointing at the unusual number of floating fish.

"There's just so many things wrong about this," wildlife lover Judy McClaver said.

On Monday, McClaver noticed city maintenance workers starting to lower the pond. By Thursday, she said she saw at least 50 dead turtles and fish floating on the pond surface.

"They didn't take into consideration that the pond is about two feet of sludge," McClaver said. "These are things that are a part of nature. This is a habitat.These are things that contribute to people's enjoyment in the park. We don't have that right as humans to toss their lives aside."

A city representative told FOX40, lowering the water is part of a biannual maintenance procedure to clean out the pond's filtration system. Every six to eight months, they lower the water approximately six to eight inches, then shut off everything for 24 hours. They said "unfortunately, we lost about a dozen fish out of the hundreds in the pond."

McClaver said it was poor planning on the city's part.

"Between the heat for the last couple of days, the no water issue, the timing of this was poor. They didn't plan for the wildlife and they wasted water," McClaver said.

With fewer fish in the pond, McClaver foresees bigger problems on the horizon.

"We probably don't have very many fish in the pond, which then means there won't be anything to eat the mosquitoes," McClaver said. "We've already had two birds in the park, two crows that took to Vector Control, that tested positive for West Nile, so now we have less control of the mosquito population in the pond."

McClaver is also worried about the birds that have been drinking sludge water for the last four days. The city said they plan another filtration clean up in the next six to eight months.

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