SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Over the past several days, hundreds of dead fish have piled up on the rocks of a low head dam on the east side of Huron.

While city officials have a pretty good idea of what caused this massive killing, they say they’re frustrated because they’re not getting any answers from Game, Fish and Parks.

The banks of the James River in Huron, near the low head dam, are scattered with dead fish; big ones.

“We’ll probably have to get the pitchforks out and get down there and clean it up because we don’t need that, it’s pretty unsightly,” Huron Mayor Gary Harrington said.

Huron’s mayor says he was told a number of factors are to blame, including low water levels on the river, a lack of oxygen for the fish due to the snow cover and rocks that were added below the dam a few years ago for safety reasons.

“It’s 14 feet down and when the water takes you down, you never come back up and that’s how people drown in there,” Harrington said.

Harrington says right now they are at a standstill because they don’t know what to do with all the carcasses.

“We have calls into our Game, Fish, and Parks, they are telling us they’ll get back to us but we haven’t heard anything back from them, we have a number that we call every day, we’d like to have some expert opinions on this, because we are not experts,” Harrington said.

Don Jorgensen: Are you frustrated where you are at with this?

Gary: Yeah we are frustrated, we’re frustrated it happened, but we also know it’s nature, because the river is so shallow this year because of the drought we had, it’s caused some problems because the water is not running over the low-level dam that’s there.

KELOLAND News also reached out to the Game, Fish, and Parks and we got this response.

“GFP can confirm there is a sizeable winterkill at Huron’s 3rd Street Rapids. Many factors may contribute to winterkill, some of which may include low water and lack of dissolved oxygen. Low oxygen levels may stress fish and over extended periods of time can cause mortality. Winterkills such as this can happen in lakes and streams when water levels are low and heavy snow prevents sunlight from reaching the water column.

Shortnose and longnose gar and silver and bighead carp comprise a large portion of this winterkill.

GFP continues to have staff on site to monitor the situation.”