The smell of dead fish is undeniable. It has to do with fish enzymes and bacteria converting into triethylamine according to Asbury Park Press. That is very scientific, but it validates the smell caused by fish dying.

Imagine the smell caused by thousands of dead fish floating in shallow water on a 95-degree day. Yuck! This is the current scenario at Sheldon Lake, the lake located at City Park in Fort Collins.

The people of Fort Collins who enjoy strolling around the lake started posting pictures and concerns to local social media groups earlier this week. The Coloradoan, our local newspaper, was receiving calls regarding the shocking display of floating fish.

Photo by Arkadiy Birger
Photo by Arkadiy Birger

According to several local Facebook groups, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife area manager in Fort Collins ultimately confirmed that "low oxygen"  due to the heat, was the cause of the fish kill.

The City of Fort Collins posted signs around the lake saying "Parks is aware of the issue with the fish-appropriate actions are taking place."

Following these social media posts is an opinionated debate through commenting. Lots of people are skeptical. Many are citing the recent fogging for mosquitos across the city which uses the chemical permethrin as a cause. Others are saying there is a mismanagement of the algae, which would mean the algae is consuming more oxygen than normal.

"Permethrin can be toxic to fish, but the amount likely to enter an outdoor fishpond or any other water body after spraying for mosquito control is much lower than that shown to be toxic to fish" according to the Florida Department of Agriculture.

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