Gainesville man finds more than 1,000 fish belly-up in townhome retention pond

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Alex Black was walking outside his townhome Tuesday when he saw birds flocking to the retention pond. To his surprise he found more than 1,000 fish belly up.

“We come to the lake and we see a few dead fish,” said Alex Black, a Eagle Trace Townhome resident. “Dead fish all through the middle of the water, on the shore, all across here.”

The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department says the fish, Tilapia, could not handle the change in temperature from last week's freezing temperatures.

“It was weather related,” said Gus Olmos, water resources manager. “The fish that were in there are Tilapia. They’re not very resilient for this kind of weather. So it’s not an uncommon type of thing to happen.”

Olmos has been with the environmental protection department for over 20 years, and he says he’s never seen anything this vast.

“We didn't know there were thousands of fish in this pond,” Black said. “They're all just belly-up, shored and a big buffet for the vultures."

“If you see a fish killed, please do give us a call because you never know what's the cause,” Olmos said. “I would encourage people that if you see that, call our department. We'll go there and investigate it.”

Olmos says it’s important that the fish get cleaned up as soon as possible. Not only for the terrible smell, but it could also attract more than just birds, but other animals such as rats.

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