LUBBOCK, TX - Residents of the Remington Park neighborhood got an unpleasant morning wake-up call when a few hundred dead fish washed up from the playa lake near their homes.
Nearby resident Sarah Alvarez smelled it when she was out walking her dogs.
“I’m familiar with what the lake looks like, and right away I saw several dead fish on the shores. I usually let the dogs get in the water. I did not let them get in the water,” Alvarez said.
The sight frightened homeowners who live right by the water, like Gwen Jones, as the day went on.
“And in all the runoffs you will see piles of dead fish," Jones said.
Residents say people come to fish and kids come to play in the water, so they were concerned. They thought it might be contaminated.
Officials from the City of Lubbock did not test the water, but say they saw no signs of contamination. When they do see contamination clues, they do tests and call Texas Parks and Wildlife. They said the fish died of natural causes, because the fish aren’t supposed to be in the playa lake, at all.
"The storm water basin wouldn't naturally be populated with fish, and based on the evaluation from my staff it appears the lake is actually overpopulated,” said Malcolm Laing, water resources manager for the city.
Laing says he has seen much larger fish killed, and this one shouldn’t be alarming.
Alvarez said, "I have seen it before, but I have never seen it this bad, with this many fish.”
Jones has lived here for almost 19 years and has never seen anything like this.
“There’s some big fish in there. There’s some turtles. There’s a lot of wildlife around here, so we like to keep it pristine. We are very upset that all the fish are dead, or dying."
Around mid-afternoon, they were already cleaning up the mess, but neighbors don’t want the problem to keep them from enjoying the lake again.
“Because this is a very peaceful neighborhood," Jones said.
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