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Hundreds of fish dying at Lake Zorinsky, people concerned

Hundreds of fish dying at Lake Zorinsky, people concerned

Hundreds of fish are dying at Lake Zorinsky in west Omaha.

Now, people want to know why and if it's safe for them to be in the water.

Workers with Nebraska Game & Parks were at the lake on Monday to check out the fish and run some tests, a good thing too since the dead fish had some people worried.

Sue Carson said, "I noticed when I first got in that there were a lot of dead fish."

The numbers only went up from there for Carson on Saturday. She was kayaking at Lake Zorinsky.

"I started counting and I got to 30, and I thought forget it...they are an indicator of, I guess, water health so that was a little concerning.”

Jeff Jackson, with Nebraska Game & Parks, says about 500-600 fish have died in the lake. He says it probably started last weekend.

Jackson and another worker from NGP were taking profiles on Monday to see what kind of oxygen levels were in the water.

Jackson said, "To about six feet we have seven parts per million which is pretty, pretty decent...we only saw crappie dead and if it was strictly oxygen that was affecting this fish then we would see other fish species dying too."

It's why Jackson says there was probably a columnaris outbreak, a disease he says a lot of fish species carry.

Jackson said, "It relies on a stressor to kind of kick it off...crappie, they got done spawning a couple weeks ago so they're not in real peak condition at this point, so that could be one of the stressors."

Jackson says if people are coming to Lake Zorinsky they might deal with a bad smell for a few days and if they fish they won't catch as many crappies. However, he says there’s nothing else people need to worry about.

Jackson said, "This isn't a swimming lake anyway...if there's some water contact that wouldn't be a concern at this point."

As for Carson, knowing that she won’t be affected has made her feel “fine. It's a great lake."

Jackson says there's nothing that can be done to stop the disease. He says nature just has to take its course and that the dead fish won’t be around much longer.

Jackson says no other fish species have been affected.

He says several people called Nebraska Game & Parks this past weekend about the dead fish. He says this is a good thing and that he wants people to do this whenever they see a problem.

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