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Energy and Environment

Thousands Of Dead Fish Showing Up In Veterans Memorial Lake

Officials are investigating a large fish kill at a Great Bend lake. Thousands of dead fish have been reported at Veterans Memorial Lake.

Terry Hoff, acting Director of Public Lands for Great Bend, says that most of the fish killed in the lake have been minnows, carp and bass.

Hoff says the city has contacted the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to determine the cause.

The lake has been identified as experiencing a toxic blue-green algae bloom for the past several years, but algae hasn't been named the cause of the kill.

KDHE has issued advisory warnings for 10 publicly accessible bodies of water:

  • Brown County State Fishing Lake, Brown County
  • Cedar Lake, Johnson County
  • Hiawatha City Lake, Brown County
  • Deanna Rose Farmstead Pond, Johnson County 
  • Chisholm Creek Park Lake (North), Sedgwick County
  • Memorial Park Lake (Veteran's Lake),  Barton County 
  • Antioch Park Lake, Johnson County
  • Jewell State Fishing Lake, Jewell County
  • Lake Warnock (Atchison City Lake), Atchison County
  • South Park Lake, Johnson County

When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • Humans, pets and livestock do not drink lake water.
  • Water contact should be prohibited. Avoid swimming, wading or other activities with full body contact of lake water.
  • Clean fish and rinse with clean water, consume only the fillet portion and discard all other parts.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water comes in contact with skin or pet fur, wash with clean potable water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.