Aquaculture for all

Low oxygen levels result in dead fish at Herrin lake

US - Mayor Vic Ritter called it a "natural phenomenon." That's the expert opinion of state Department of Natural Resources field workers in Marion after inspecting the 60-acre Herrin City Lake, where a few thousand dead fish floated to the top of the water from a lack of sufficient oxygen.

"There's no rhyme or reason for it," Ritter said. "That lake is a good lake, one of the best in the area. But this kind of fish kill has happened in Marion, Du Quoin and many other areas before."

Ritter said the combination of hot weather and low water level from the lack of rain led to a reduced oxygen level for many of the fish.

"What that basically does is suffocate the fish," the mayor said. "Another problem might be that we had too many fish in the lake, which took away from the oxygen level, too."

Ritter said Pine Lakes Golf Course owner Phil Preston contacted the city about the problem last Friday. The mayor dispatched some city workers to help with the cleanup. Preston refused comment on Monday.

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