Hundreds of dead fish surface in Norfolk after storms

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Hundreds of dead fish are floating along the edge of Silver Lake in Norfolk.

“My stepson mentioned there was some stuff in the lake, I thought it was just flowers that fell off the trees but I went out there mowing the yard the other day and yup, a bunch of dead fish,” said resident Greg Fogle, whose backyard faces the lake. 

“Dead fish were in the water, basically small ones, and then on the second day, I noticed the larger ones,” explained another neighbor who’s watched it get worse over the past three days.

Neighbors say not only does it look bad, it smells even worse. 

“Stinky, smelly odor, you have to hold your nose,” said a resident named Robert.

“Yeah I used a rake and kind of shoved them out because the smell is right pungent,” added Fogle.

Robert, who’s lived in the area for decades, says this isn’t the first time this has happened. 

“There should be some type of racket because the city had to come out and remove the fish, but this time we have all the cranes and the seagulls, and they mostly cleaned it up,” Robert recalled.

Officials with the Department of Environmental Quality came out to the lake Thursday morning to investigate. 

They believe that the heavy rainfall the past several days, combined with organic matter, caused the dissolved oxygen to go very low.

They say they see this sometimes in small lakes or stormwater ponds.

The full statement read, “The DEQ Tidewater Regional Office Pollution Response Program (Prep) and Water Compliance Monitoring staff investigated a report of a fish kill at Silver Lake yesterday morning.   During the DEQ field investigation, dissolved oxygen (DO) levels were tested in near shore lake water.   The DO level was noted to be extremely low and not supportive of aquatic life.   The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) local Hazmat Officer also responded to assist in the investigation.  The VDEM Officer also conducted a field test for pesticide levels in the lake and that test was negative.   DEQ will continue to monitor any field data and results from VDEM as they become available”

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