LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lakes Regional Park is remaining open, despite currently experiencing a fish kill.
Although Lee County Parks & Recreation crews are routinely cleaning the shoreline, a scent of decay may affect park patrons who walk the park’s trails. No respiratory issues are expected for park goers because this is a non-toxic algal situation, which makes it unlike a red tide event.
According to the county, the kill that started in late April appears only to be affecting tilapia, a non-native species. Warm weather, algal growth, the tilapia spawning season and also the active bird rookeries that are depositing droppings into the lake may all be factors in this fish kill.
Lee County Natural Resources staff has increased sampling at its environmental lab and coordinated with the state. Both water and fish samples have been sent routinely to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, which has performed an analysis confirming an algal bloom with a particular strain of non-toxic algae.
The situation may be alleviated when summer rains start, when bird nesting season ends and when tilapia are less active as spawning season winds down in late May.
The county asks that park-goers avoid the dead fish.