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Hundreds of dead fish becoming a daily event near Geist Reservoir

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some people living in the Geist Reservoir neighborhood are concerned after seeing dozens of dead fish popping up along the shore.

One neighbor says the problem started after the ice melted away. She says she comes across dead fish every winter but this year, it’s been ten times worse.

“It’s pretty disgusting,” said Teresa Williams, concerned resident. “A lot of them are kind of bloody at the gills.”

Teresa Williams has lived in the Bridge Water neighborhood for about 11 years. For the past week she says she’s been waking up to an unpleasant sight in her backyard.

“I’ve been picking up dead fish everyday, most days over 100 fish a day,” said Williams. “I think last year, I picked up 40 or 50 and the year before that similar amounts I always kind of count.”

The mother of three says she’s been picking up the fish and tossing them out so that her dogs won’t get to them.

“We all have those big republic trash bins and I have two of them and I filled them both to the top with dead fish. In fact, they were so heavy it was hard to pull them down the drive way,” said Williams.

But Geist Lake Coalition, a group addressing concerns of homeowners along the waterfront says there’s nothing to worry about.

They say the dead fish washing up are called shad. The fragile fish are more sensitive to cold water and lower oxygen levels than other species in the lake. The coalition posted an update to Facebook alerting residents of the fish kill.

“If a lot of fish other than shad start showing up dead, then we may want to be concerned. That said there are reports of a small bass die-off in a very limited amount,” said Brian Hall, founding director.

“Every summer there’s always a concern about so much toxic algae in the lake,” said Williams. “I just wonder if the amount of dead fish kill this year maybe had anything to do with that left over from the summer.”

Citizens Energy is the company in charge of Geist Reservoir.

A spokesperson tells 24-Hour News 8 it’s been a problem in the past with the algae because of the fertilization. She says there are many houses along the lake that some of the chemicals can get into the water.

The company says they have treated the reservoir in the past, but it’s all been safe and causes no harm to the fish and wildlife.

Citizens Energy is planning to hire a contractor to come out to the neighborhood to clean up the mess sometime next week.