A number of Ardmore residents were seeking answers Wednesday afternoon after a large number of fish were found dead in a pond on Sunset Drive at Hollingsworth Drive.
The scene in the upscale neighborhood was described as a dead lake as scores of fish, emitting a strong odor, were floating with swarms of flies surrounding them.
Leland McDaniel, Carter County Oklahoma State University Extension ag educator, said fish kills are common this time of year, with a number of reasons for the issue.
"Any number of things can cause a fish kill," McDaniel said. "Ponds like that, especially in urban areas with manicured lawns, have a nutrient runoff. Phosphorous gets in the water and causes an algae bloom which kills the fish."
McDaniel said fish kills also take place at ponds surrounded by a lot of trees. Leaves fall from the trees during the fall and settle into the bottom of the pond. During the summer months, those leaves decompose and create an anaerobic condition.
"There is oxygen deprivation," McDaniel said. "There is not a lot of wind activity because the trees block the wind. It gets hot and stagnant when there is no fresh water running in.
"I am 95 percent sure it is an oxygen deprivation situation. It could be one of those reasons or a combination of both."
McDaniel said there are ways to avoid a fish kill when conditions are ripe. People can aerate their pond with pumps. Some have run a hose from an oxygen tank into the pond, and water can also be recirculated.