Dead Fish in Pond at Big Spring Park

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Many families like to spend a relaxing day at Big Spring Park.  The fish are a favorite attraction, but we heard from a concerned viewer who spotted several dead fish in the pond.

This weekend, some of the fish were found floating on the surface of the pond.  Huntsville's Public Works Director says they often find dead fish in August or September, but it's unusual to see it this early in the summer.

One contributing factor to stress on fish is the increase in water temperature in the summer time.  Since Thursday, June 28, we've had four days of triple-digit temperatures in the Tennessee Valley.  That makes a bad situation even worse.

"With goldfish and koi, they are both a cold water species, and generally once the water temperatures get above 80 degrees it stresses their systems in general," said Peter McGraw, owner of The Aquarium Shop in Huntsville.

In nature, fish can swim to a cooler, deeper spot.  However, in Big Spring Park, they have nowhere else to go. 

Experts say high temperatures deplete the oxygen in the water.  Bigger fish are more likely to die first, because they breathe in more oxygen through their gills.