Fish killed as West Park lake oxygen levels plunge

Dozens of dead fish were pulled out of a park lake after oxygen levels dropped dramatically.

Officials have been working to oxygenate the lake
Officials have been working to oxygenate the lake

Others were rescued as a major operation was carried out at West Park in Wolverhampton.

The fish, including large carp, were left struggling to breathe after oxygen levels fell.

WATCH: Work to save fish in the lake

Experts said it was due to a combination of spawning and the recent stormy weather.

Firefighters brought in pumps to boost the oxygen levels in the lake.

Fish were seen gasping for air on the water’s surface by visitors to the park this week. Those which did not survive were loaded into buckets.

Fish spotted in the water

The torrential rain and stormy conditions is said to have impacted on oxygen levels in the lake.

Officials from the Environment Agency said the reduction in oxygen was common at this time of the year.

Teams from the Environment Agency and Wolverhampton Council were at the park helping to aerate the water on Tuesday. The council received several calls from concerned members of the public about the distressed fish.

People spotted the fish in the water in recent days

Mark Bowers, from the Environment Agency said: “On Bank Holiday Monday, we supported our partners, Wolverhampton City Council to aerate West Park lake following reports of fish in distress.

“There had been a natural drop in dissolved oxygen levels in the water leaving the fish unable to breathe.

“This is very common at this time of year when there is warm weather and storms.

“If anyone sees fish gasping for air, please report it to us by calling 0800 80 70 60.”

Some of the fish pulled from the water

Wolverhampton Parks said on Facebook: “In lakes and ponds, fish kills due to spawning related stress are common in spring/early summer, mainly May and June.

“When the water temperature heats up, fish move into the lake shorelines to spawn.

"Spawning activities require a lot of energy, weaken the fish and can make them susceptible to other environmental factors that non-stressed fish would mostly survive, especially after a cold winter.

"Spawning-related fish kills occur over a period of up to a month, with dead fish tending to accumulate along the lake edges’.

“As we had a lot of thunderstorms and lightening, this will further have caused stress to the fish.”

The post on the West Park Facebook page

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