Dying carp in Creve Coeur Lake making a smelly mess

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI) – An ugly sight on a beautiful lake:  Hundreds of dead fish at Creve Coeur Lake.

They keep coming.

Workers rounded up about 70 dead Asian Carp by two o’clock Monday afternoon.  Within about 2 hours there were about 50 more floating on the water and washing ashore.

Paddle boarders and kayakers couldn’t resist the water on a hot day.

They ended up being happier to get off the lake.

It was more than just the heat.

“The fish man, plenty of dead ones out there,” said kayaker, Zac Cygan of Waterloo.  “They said they picked up quite a few already this morning.  We went out there expecting not to see too many.  They’re everywhere.”

“See all those white dots?” asked lake rental worker, Johnathan Brose, pointing at the water.  “Every one of those white dots is a dead fish.”

Along with renting paddle-boards and kayaks, Brose and his co-workers now sweep the water for dead Asian Carp daily.

They picked up about 160 the past 3 days.

St. Louis County Parks workers then come and dispose of the fish.

“They’re all over and they’re gross,” said kayaker Lexi Livigni of Waterloo.

“They’re an invasive species. Nothing’s really their predator, they eat everything else,” Brose said.

Here’s the most likely scenario from the Missouri Department of Conservation: Asian Carp, a river species sensitive to temperature changes, got into the lake from the flooded Missouri River; water temperatures have risen quickly in the confined space of the lake, killing the carp; which is actually good for the lake’s ecosystem.

That may be true but it’s tough on paddle board and kayak rentals.

“Yeah, I don’t want to swim with dead fish everywhere, no way!” Livigni said.

“The smell gets so bad you can’t even breathe.  It’s thick too because in the morning when you come in, they’re lining the beach.  There’s just so many of them.  Then they bake in the sun,” Brose said.

A MO Department of Conservation expert is coming to check it out.  With just one species of fish dying, it’s very unlikely there’s any sort of contamination.

As far as the department is concerned, Asian Carp are an invasive species.  Having them die off is better for fish that people want in the lake like Bass and Bluegill.

It's just a matter of cleaning up the dead carp which is happening daily now.

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