Hundreds of fish found dead at St. Louis County Park

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – Hundreds of dead fish line the shore at George Winter County Park. Some fish look like they just died others as if they've been there quite a while.  Josh Riggs is a fisherman, "I was here two weeks and it wasn't like this I don't know what could have happened.

Fishermen says most if not all of them are Asian Carp, they are big fish that take over Midwest waterways and jump out of the water, they go flying through the air. They can hurt people if they get hit by a carp. Plus they are bad for game fish, which have a tough time making a home when the Asian Carp mess things up.  Fisherman Mark Barada said, "It makes it hard for the fish to get their beds down to be able to lay their eggs because the water is stirred up all the time a lot the game fish such as bass like clearer water to produce in."

What caused the fish kills right now is a mystery. The St. Louis County Acting Parks Director, Tom Ott, has a theory, It's probably a thing called summer fish kills it occurs when you get a lot of warm days like we've had this last month in August. So the water temperatures rise and the dissolved oxygen levels goes down so basically the fish starve for oxygen." Ott said he will contact the Missouri Department of Conservation because that agency is responsible for wildlife in the park. People are not disappointed to see the Asian Carp take a hit.  Josh Riggs said, "It's not a bad thing people have wanted this to happen for years."

Still the air is filled with the fragrance of rotting fish and it is intense.  Barada added, "The smell is pretty atrocious to say the least."

St. Louis County Parks will have a crew out here tomorrow cleaning up all the dead fish.

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