Hundreds of dead fish float to surface of 'Duck Pond'

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - People living near Colonial Manor Lake Park in the Miramar neighborhood near San Marco have noticed something disturbing in the water.

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On Friday, hundreds of dead fish floated to the surface of the lake on San Jose Boulevard, which is also known as the "Duck Pond."

"Usually, the pond looks healthy," neighbors Jim and Marry Burch said. "(It's) extremely alarming." 

The strange phenomenon has neighbors wondering what caused all of the fish to die, while ducks and other birds appear to be unharmed. Many asked whether it was the result of the weather.

"“I’m disappointed, amazed and wonder why," neighbor Dianne Scarboro said. 

Air temperatures may have been warm Thursday and Friday, but the water stayed cold from the freeze earlier in the week. But according to a marine expert, it may have been more than just the cold water that killed the fish.

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Dr. Quinton White, a professor of biology and marine science at Jacksonville University, told News4Jax on Monday that the cold weather at the beginning of last week did play a role in killing the fish, but added they didn't exactly freeze to death.

“Because of the cold weather, even though it got warmer for a little while during the day, the water is still very cold," White said. "When you get warm weather like that, we sometimes get what’s called 'lake turnover.' It brings up the oxygen-depleted water from the bottom to the surface, and that will kill the fish.”

Which means the fish likely died from oxygen deprivation, White said.

According to another marine biologist who lives close to the lake, the fish that died are not indigenous to the area, and were susceptible to shock as a result of the cold weather.

On Tuesday, News4Jax learned that crews had removed the dead fish.

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