Biologist: Morningside pond fish kill was normal occurrence for summer time

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Dead fish have been baking in the sun at the Morningside subdivision for four days in south Huntsville. Neighbors said they began to surface gasping for air, but eventually just died.

District 1 Fisheries Biologist Phil Ekema said fish kills are normal around the summer time, especially in private waters like ponds. Ekema said oxygen levels can just get too low.

"In the summer time deep ponds will stratify into two different layers on the surface that's warm and full of oxygen and the deeper cooler water is void of oxygen. That's because no sunlight penetrates into the deep waters; there's no photosynthesis or oxygen production," Ekema said.

He said plants in ponds can also cause depleted oxygen levels; that end up hurting fish. He said people also try to kill plants in the water and when they do the plants die, but suck up all of the oxygen in the process.

"The safest way to treat a pond is in sections; in two-week intervals," Ekema said.

He said there are ways to avoid fish kills. You can use pumps or fountains to help circulate the oxygen in the pond.