Hundreds of dying fish in Florence lake have residents worried about water quality

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Some people who live and travel near Forest Lake in Florence reported smelling a stench from blocks away.

When they searched for the source of the smell, they found hundreds of dead fish washed ashore Florence’s Forest Lake.

They’re even washing up on the shallow shores near homes.

Larry Spivey has lived on Forest Lake for more than 16 years. He says this fish kill is the worse he has ever seen.

“I saw some fish around the edges and corners that were dead and other ones that were flopping and looked like they were gasping for air and out in the center they were really struggling big time,” Spivey said.

Residents first spotted the problem Thursday afternoon.

“It concerns me because our fish supply was just starting to get back,” mentioned Janet Elvington, who lives on Forest Lake.

Many of the fish killed at the lake were bass, brim, perch and catfish, so to get rid of the bad smell some residents are now using fishnets to remove them.

“I’m getting somebody to come and remove some of them today because the smell is getting pretty bad,” said Spivey.

We spoke to DNR officials about the recent fish kill. Experts say the fish kill may be a natural phenomenon caused by the water temperature during the summer heat causing little to no oxygen in the water.

Despite reassurances from experts, some residents are now even more concerned about the water quality.

“I’m pretty concerned about what the water quality would be down the road, how far along it would affect us as far as the water quality,” Spivey said.

“I do hope it gets resolved quickly because the residents, we like to enjoy our fishing, kayaking and taking time out to enjoy it. The homeowners on the water, we don’t want no concerns that there is something wrong with the water other than what is caused by the heat,” Elvington added.

With the significant fish kill at Forest Lake, affecting a larger than usual number of fish DNR says they are taking a closer look at the cause.


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