Fish Kill Frustrates Anglers at Garfield Park - NBC Chicago

Fish Kill Frustrates Anglers at Garfield Park

Natural, man-made factors to blame



    Fishermen Lament Over Dead Fish

    Fishermen at Garfield Park Lagoon talk about the gruesome discovery of hundreds of dead and dying fish. (Published Friday, July 9, 2010)

    Something's killing hundreds of fish in the Garfield Park Lagoon, and fisherman aren't happy about it.

    During the last two days, Tom Palmisano of Henry’s Sports and Bait shop said he’s had numerous reports of dead fish at the West Side lagoon.

    Some regulars have been donning waders and walking into the water to snatch-up the fish near shore.  Some of the fish are bloated and buzzing with flies, their stench filling the air.

    "Me, being a licensed fisherman, you come for the sport of it, you don’t come out to grab a fish," said fisherman Albert Williams.

    Among the fish brought in:  two giant Asian carp; one weighing in at 74 pounds, the other at 84Palmisano said it's rare that the toothless fish would strike at a line.

    "The times they’ve been caught it’s a fluke," he said.

    The man who caught the 84-pounder said problems in the lagoon may have caused the normally bottom feeding carp to strike at his line.

    "I saw crayfish just standing there with baby crayfish on their backs," the Chicago man explained.

    According to Integrated Lakes Management, the company contracted by the Chicago Park District to care for the lagoons, a number of factors contributed to the kill.

    The company confirmed that it had treated the lagoons for algae and plant growth, said that shouldn’t have had an effect on the fish.

    ILM’s Keith Gray said the non-aerated pond at Garfield typically has low levels of oxygen, especially at the bottom, and he said that recent rains would have mixed that low-oxygen water with the water at the top where the fish typically live.

    On top of that, Garfield Park was one of six lagoons recently stocked and those fish may have been stressed.

    "Its sad to see because they have no 'win' in this situation," said fisherman Brandon Blissit  "Those big ‘ole carp been here for years and they’re going to die now."