Thousands of dead fish found in Maricopa community ponds

MARICOPA, AZ - Residents of a Maricopa neighborhood are growing concerned over a large number of dead fish being found in their community ponds.

“My first reaction was, 'what the heck is going on here?'” said resident Kevin Mcclelland. 

“Probably another two, three hundred down there, just scattered all over the lake,” said another resident. 

People living in the Rancho El Dorado subdivision in Maricopa said it’s not just the sight of thousands of dead fish but the smell.

“I have a fan outside in my backyard trying to blow the odor away from coming in the house, so it’s very bad,” said Mcclelland. 

On Saturday, Mcclelland said he noticed the fish were acting odd.

“Saturday morning I noticed fish bobbing up and down out of the water, I thought they were trying to get gnats on top of the water, but I noticed more than one,” said Mcclelland. 

What they were doing was trying to get air. 

“It’s typically called a summer kill,” said Marc Dahlberg, with Arizona Fish and Game. 

Arizona Fish and Game say large fish kills like this happen when oxygen is depleted from the water during the summer months. 

Dahlberg said some cloudy days could halt the growth of aquatic plants, the main producer of oxygen. 

“After a while, the oxygen disappears, and the fish start dying,” said Dahlberg, who is not investigating the kill due to it being on private property. 

To keep it from happening, most large ponds have aeration systems to keep the water rich with oxygen. 

In a letter from the communities HOA, they say the system had broken down. For a community built on the water and backyards to take advantage of it, residents say it’s time for action. 

“This is not the first time it has happened, so I hope they get their stuff together this time cause a third time definitely will not be a charm,” said Mcclelland. 

ABC15 reached out to the community's HOA for an interview but were told they had no comment. In their email to residents, HOA officials say they are stepping up to fix the problem immediately. 

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