Dozens of dead fish found in Gilbert canal

Posted at 4:00 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 15:42:12-05

On any given day, you might find a number of things floating in canals. But lately, people in Gilbert are finding something a little "fishy" in the canal near Elliot and Greenfield roads.

"Fifty to 100 dead fish floating in the canal," said James Kowitz, who was riding along the canal.

ABC15 called SRP after a viewer tip. SRP maintains the canal, and they sent a biologist to get to the bottom of it.

In a 6.5-mile stretch of the canal, they found about 80 dead white amur fish, according to Scott Harelson, SRP spokesman. 

SRP said that the only dead fish they are finding are the amur — a non-native fish that SRP stocks the canals with. 

"Because they're voracious weed eaters. They eat the weeds, they keep the canals clean, and that improves water flow and it saves water," Harelson said.

The dead fish are now being pulled from the water and tested.

The reason they're dying could be as simple as the change in the temperatures or the algae in the canal, but the water has been tested and is safe, Harelson said.

"There are no indications of any type of chemicals or anything in there that would affect the fish or humans," Harelson said.