News from Piedmont Park


This sign usually brings a smile to my face. Lake Clara Meer most often looks kinda gunky and unpleasant for swimming, although the fisherfolk seem to find it sufficiently appetizing to toss in their lines.

Now, however, the big story I read about is the fish die-off that the lollygaggers and other park visitors noted on Sunday. We didn’t walk there yesterday, so we missed it.

Not today.

Yup, the reports are correct. It’s a mess, but the windrows of belly-ups are localized. The smell, however, is not. The lake’s emitting a lovely odor reminiscent of a Third-World fish market lacking refrigeration and running water.

Sure enough, the DNR arrived in force to do whatever they do in such a situation. The die-off has been attributed to an algal bloom. We’ve been seeing worse algae that I saw today for over a month, although I’m certain low oxygen is a notable factor. What I’ve seen recently that’s new is a bunch of teeny fishies that I first saw on Saturday.

Frankly, I’m also surprised by the quantity of dead feesh, overpopulation seems an important factor here. But, I’m no lacustrine specialist.

The stunner in all this: most of the dead—and the lazy-swimming survivors—were panfish and carp and catfish (not that I know my feesh species); however, I did spot one eel—I assume an American Eel (Anguilla rostrata), those critters who do their spawning in the Atlantic.

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