Kissena Lake Cleaned Up After 150 Fish Found Dead, City Says
QUEENS — While people and pets aren’t allowed in the water at Kissena Lake, parkgoers can enjoy the view shoreside now that the dozens of dead fish found floating on its surface were removed, officials said.
“It was awful,” said 79-year-old Flushing resident Michael Krentsal, who visits Kissena Park every day. “It has never happened before.”
Residents said they first saw the dead fish last week but by Monday night only a few carcasses could still be spotted floating around the 8.5-acre lake.
About 150 fish died in the lake recently because the water was low on oxygen "due to blue-algae bloom following last week’s flash flooding," according to the Parks Department.
The agency removed the dead animals and brought in water pumps to aerate the lake, which is usually fed by natural wells, providing the fresh water necessary for the survival of many species of fish.
On Tuesday, the Parks Department said that water in Kissena Lake is safe again for fish, although more animals that died deeper in the water may still float to the surface in the upcoming days.
Toxin-producing blue-green algae can also be dangerous to people and other animals. Earlier this month, the state Department of Environmental Conservation warned that the algae bloom has spread throughout Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn and could harm those who come in contact with it including dogs out for a swim.
The DEC did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment about the condition of Kissena Lake.
The Parks Department said that while the water in Kissena Lake is not believed to be harmful to people or animals, parkgoers should try to avoid contact with any algae. People should not swim or wade in the lake, and they should also keep their pets on leashes and out of the water, the agency said.