Smelly fish washing up dead on shore concerning neighbors

Author: Camila Pereira
Published: Updated:

Dirty, rotten fish piled up dead along the shore at the Twin Isles Country Club in Punta Gorda.

“I took my dog for a walk and immediately noticed the strong fish odor,” said neighbor Christopher Defeo. “I saw probably thousands of dead big fish. This lake was built in collaboration with the Audubon Society as a preserve for our natural wildlife. It’s really a lovely view out my backyard. And to see the wildlife dying off like that. It’s my first concern.”

Christopher Defeo said this has happened before and worries about health issues from the dead fish.

“I said, ‘Do you plan on cleaning up like you did last year?'” said Defeo.

WINK News reporter Camila Pereria went to the country club for answers, but the offices were closed.

So, she showed local naturalist ranger Rob Howell what the area looked like.

“Just looking at that picture, that looks a little oh, yeah, that’s just sad. So, a few things can cause these die-offs,” said Howell. “So first off, obviously, pesticide, herbicides, fertilizers, if this is on a golf course, and all of a sudden it’s sitting on that grass, and then it rains that can saturate into the soil, which will eventually make its way down into the water.”

Ranger Rob said the long drought and heavy rain we saw a week ago may be to blame for a shift in the water’s pH.

“That’s probably where the natural killings came in. But it’s not to not bring up the conversation of making sure golf courses and HOAs and private residents aren’t still being very aware of what they’re putting on their properties not only because of the laws but also because the effect that these things have on our environment,” said Howell.

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