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Thread: WRL Spillway 6/22 shad dying off, bird bonanza

  1. #1

    Default WRL Spillway 6/22 shad dying off, bird bonanza

    Erin and Tony(longtime birders on west side of lake) sent word yesterday of a shad fish kill at the spillway. I was not able to get over there till after I got off work. Quite a few shad doing their death wobble dance and floating. Birds galore and turtles as well.

    I called the Park Board member for the area who notified the city. Also called Rich Grayson who is the DFW coordinator for water testing with the Texas Stream Team. We tested the water, dissolved oxygen was 5.8 between the spillway and the stairs area. Not the best oxygen level but not too bad. Water temperature was 90 degrees, which is very warm for fish. Too warm. Perhaps that was one of the causes. Hard to tell. Many dead fish were coming from the lake and floating down through the spillway.

    Lots of birds there. Saw a tri-colored heron, numerous little blue herons and all the other usual lake birds in great numbers. I counted 4 dozen great egrets.

  2. #2

    Default Re: WRL Spillway 6/22 shad dying off, bird bonanza

    This event continued into 6/23, quite a few birds there the evening of the 23rd. Seems that the birds won't eat fish that are "too far" gone. Many dead fish lie on the spillway concrete aprons without being eaten. Some of the larger carp/buffalofish started dying off the evening of the 23rd as well. City of Dallas employees were on site, they ran some tests with water temperature around 88 degrees F and a dissolved oxygen of about 6. This is about the same numbers as the 22nd.

  3. #3

    Default Re: WRL Spillway 6/22 shad dying off, bird bonanza

    I was there the morning of the 22nd and saw the fish kill which was just shad at that point. However, the large carp were gathered in the shallow pool right where the connecting creek from lower spillway steps joins the lower spillway proper, at least 50 or more of them, feeding on the floating shad. There were also tons of turtles eating them. In addition to all the birds. So....if the carp are dying now, would the fact that they were eating the dead and dying shad the day before be related in any way? I did take photos but by the time I was able to say something in here, Ben had already reported it.
    Kaptured by Kala

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