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Cleaning Up A Fishy Situation

July 25, 2010, 10:05 PM by David Brown

Cleaning Up A Fishy Situation
WALL LAKE, SD - Wall Lake residents have been busy all weekend cleaning up their docks. Last week's wet weather created low oxygen levels, killing thousands of fish in the lake.

"It's the cycle of life unfortunately.  And sometimes, it's not pretty," Wall Lake resident Kristi Golden said.

Golden has lived on Wall Lake for 14 years, and while she understands the power of nature, she didn't think it was this strong. 

"You'll get maybe a handful of them, but nothing where you're seeing hundreds of floating little white bellies and hundreds on the rocks," Golden said.  "It's really something."

Golden and her family have been clearing the fish off their dock since Friday, and the problem's so bad that South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks has set up dump sites both at the lake and at the Sioux Falls Regional Landfill.

"We've cleaned up probably 25 tubs of fish at about 80-100 pounds per tub," South Dakota GFP conservation officer Jeremy Rakowicz said.  "So, we've gotten quite a few tubs out of the water."

"They really moved quickly on understanding that this was going to be a big problem for several days and it's going to be significant burden for everyone," Golden added.

The lake may not be in its most pristine state right now, but Game, Fish & Parks is confident people can enjoy the waters very soon.

"Fish kills in the summer and winter are just a part of life and part of our business," Rakowicz said.  "And we just try and work as much as we can and put as many manhours as we can in some of these areas to help out the local residents."

And people at the lake hope that help will get them out of a fishy situation.

Game, Fish & Parks says it may take a year or two to fully re-stock the lake with fish. The dumpsite at the Sioux Falls Regional Landfill will be open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 AM-5:00 PM

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