DEQ: Cause Unclear For Fish Kill At Lake Hefner

Thursday, July 19th 2018, 7:36 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

There’s something fishy going on at Lake Hefner. Hundreds, maybe thousands of fish have washed up on shore dead.

They’re everywhere, mostly along the south shore and the northwest side of the lake.

Clark Harper and his kids were hoping for a nice bike ride along the shore; a chance to take in the view and breathe in some fresh air. But what they smelled was anything but fresh.

"It's bad,” said Harper. “I don't know. We have been riding here the past couple of days and we've been seeing fish and little minnows all along the shore and it's pretty stinky."

The family wound up cutting their ride short.

Environmentalists are looking into the fish kill. 

"DEQ and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation were both notified,” said Erin Hatfield of Oklahoma Environmental Quality. “DEQ sent out an environmental specialist to get a look at see what is going on."

But so far, no answers.

"We don't know. And unfortunately, with fish kills it's not uncommon for there never to be this smoking gun. This obvious reason why you have a fish kill,” said Hatfield.

The Harpers plan to stay away from the lake for a few days, at least until the stench is gone.

"Yeah. It kinda [sic] makes it harder to enjoy a bike ride whenever you're smelling dead fish and I kept telling the kids that's sometimes how lakes smell,” said Harper. “But it shouldn't be that bad."