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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Several factors contribute to fish kill at Schuman Park

  • A number of factors may have contributed to a high concentration of fish dying, also known as a fish kill, at Schuman Park in Rolla recently. According to the Rolla Parks Department, a fish kill typically occurs for many reasons, such as drought, algae bloom, high water temperatures and too many fish.
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  • A number of factors may have contributed to a high concentration of fish dying, also known as a fish kill, at Schuman Park in Rolla recently.
    According to the Rolla Parks Department, a fish kill typically occurs for many reasons, such as drought, algae bloom, high water temperatures and too many fish.
    Depleted oxygen levels are the most common cause of fish kills. Although fish can adapt to short periods of reduced oxygen, longer periods can cause serious damage.  
    Last week, Rolla experienced temperatures in the high 90s along with a prolonged period of little to no rain, which can contribute to reduced oxygen levels at area park lakes, such as the one at Schuman Park.
    Additionally, plants in the lake consume a larger amount of oxygen with warmer water temperatures.
    The lake at Schuman Park is a stormwater detention facility, meaning it retains water from rains and street runoffs which prevent flooding downstream.
    These rains also carry nutrients and silt into the lake, and the nutrients create a better growing environment for plants and algae. The silt buildup then reduces the amount of water in the lake.  
    Preventing fish kills can be a challenge because of these many factors beyond human control.
    However, residents can assist by keeping nutrients and fertilizers out of the lake.
    The Rolla Parks Department and Missouri Department of Conservation also apply chemicals in the spring to reduce algae growth. The parks department also helps deter fish kills by dredging the lake, placing a mechanical aerator or fountain in the lake and removing plants.  
    The Missouri Department of Conservation has a guide to fish kills that can be found online at http://mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/resources/2010/05/fishkills_2012.pdf.
    For additional information call the Rolla Parks Department at 573-341-2386. 

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