Thawed Clinton pond reveals dead fish

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-15 21:13:39-04

CLINTON, Utah - Residents in a Davis County neighborhood are facing an unfortunate but natural event; with the thaw of a pond came dozens of dead fish.

A lake near 3000 West and 2415 North in Clinton has thawed, revealing dozens of dead fish, mostly trout.

"When the ice started to melt a couple days back we came out here and there were just tons and tons of dead fish lining the sides," said nearby resident Julie Burkholder.

The heavy ice and snow that covered the lake throughout the winter kept oxygen from getting into the water, killing the fish. The pond wasn't originally designed as a fishery and because of that, the Division of Wildlife Resources says a similar situation is likely to happen again in the future.

"There's a definite relationship between pond depth and frequency of winter kills. We see this in shallower valley ponds that don't have as much water volume. It's also a phenomenon that happens up in the Uintahs and some of the shallower lakes up there," said Chris Penne, an aquatic biologist with the DWR.

Clinton isn't the only city facing the problem. Hundreds of dead fish have washed up on the shore at Stansbury Park Lake in Tooele.

"I would not be surprised if we saw a few more as the ice recedes," Penne said.

The DWR plans to restock the devastated community fisheries within the next few weeks. Meanwhile, officials in Clinton have cleaned up most of the fish and have done their best to keep the area from stinking.

Related story:
Hundreds of dead fish found in Tooele lake