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Fish kill at Fort Myers lake

Liza Fernandez

Fish kill at Fort Myers lake

CREATED Apr. 25, 2012

Fort Myers, FL -- A depressing discovery over the weekend for the people who live in one Fort Myers neighborhood.
The lake -- at the center of their community -- is brimming with dead fish.     
And they want to know what caused it.
Ducks, osprey, heron all make the lake home too.
"It's one of the reasons why I moved here because I have an apartment that has a great view of the pond," Regina Kilmartin tells us. 
But what she woke up to over the weekend was far from great.
"All the fish started to come to the surface as the day went on," she desribes.
Carp like this one, dead and dotting the shore.
"I was heartbroken," says Regina.
"Meanwhile, you can't even stand outside or on the porch because it just stinks. It's really bad. It's terrible," adds Dave Tebe.
So 4 In Your Corner called Florida Fish and Wildlife to find out just what happened.
And a spokesperson tells us, fish kills like this one are actually quite common.
"The oxygen levels in water can go down because a lack of rain and circulation in the water. So the oxygen levels deplete. and if the oxygen levels deplete then the fish will not be able to breathe," explains spokesperson Kevin Baxter.
He says the official cause of the fish kill is "low oxygen levels."
In fact, 4IYC checked FWC's fish kill database.
Looking back 10 years, a majority of the fish kills in Lee County's residential ponds have been caused by oxygen depletion.
"I'm glad it turned out to be an act of nature even though it's still heart breaking," Regina tells us.
A wildlife spokesperson also says the rain over the weekend likely dumped fertilizer in the pond as well -- throwing off its natural balance.
A reminder to limit the fertilizer we use on our plants and lawns.