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Utah wildlife officials investigating after 500 fish found dead in pond

Posted at 8:01 PM, Jun 25, 2024

HERRIMAN, Utah — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has closed off a fishing pond after hundreds of fish were found dead Monday morning.

DWR officials said they received a report of dead fish at Cove Pond, located in Herriman. Biologists were sent to the pond and estimated that there were over 500 dead fish, although they added that the number may be even higher. Most of the fish that died were catfish, along with a few bluegills and green sunfish.

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If the sight didn't shock you, the smell certainly did.

"Fish are my thing," said 11-year-old Kaden Caldwell. "Just with ducks and hamsters and all the animals. I'm just an animal guy."

State employees were at the pond Wednesday collecting water samples.

"Our biologist texted the water. They found there's a lethally-low level of dissolved oxygen which fish need to survive," said Scott Root, conservation outreach manager with Utah DWR.

Root said the heat can poorly affect water and fish, but they don't believe that's the cause.

"We think it's something else," he said. "Coud be chemical, could be something, but we don't quite know yet."

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality and the local authorities are now investigating the cause of the low oxygen levels and any other factors that may have contributed.

The pond is now closed to fishing as the agency investigates the incident. The DWR also advised against eating any fish caught from the pond on Monday "out of an abundance of caution."

"Everyone loves this park. I see a lot of fishermen here but it's sad now that it's closed," said Caldwell.

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Dead fish at Cove Pond in Herriman