GRDA Says 1,300 Fish Died This Month, Impacting Lake Hudson


Thursday, June 10th 2021, 9:44 pm
By: Chinh Doan


MAYES COUNTY, Oklahoma -

The Grand River Dam Authority reported about 1,300 fish have died since the start of the month, impacting Lake Hudson in Mayes County.

The Authority said floodgate operations to manage the recent rain added to the fish's stress during its spawning season.

Johnna Fleak said her family moved to Lake Hudson a month ago and were excited for outdoor fun,

but this week, they cannot stand the sights and smells.

"Lakefront property, and this is what we get,” said Fleak. “We can't even use it."

The Fleak family no longer gets near the water after they started seeing hundreds of dead fish this weekend. Then, came the vultures, maggots and flies.

"All kinds of wildlife come and feed off them," explained Fleak.

She said removing the dead fish and debris are not helping, so she wants authorities to step in.

"Just some answers,” said Fleak. “Is there a disease with these fish, or is it because of the lake levels?"

The Grand River Dam Authority said it has been investigating. The authority reported based on its tests, oxygen and bacteria levels are normal.

The GRDA also said the estimated 1,300 fish, mainly blue catfish, likely died due to the recent floodgate operations at Pensacola Dam happening during the fish's spawning season. The dead fish then floated down stream.

"This was an event that happened all at once, and it happened in a small area that wasn't in the lake," explained Josh Johnston with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Johnston said the blue catfish population will be fine and only time will help with the "stinky situation."

"I think nature is going to take care of it,” said Johnston. “It's a bad and unfortunate situation, but the turtles right now are probably very happy."

The Department of Wildlife Conservation encourages people to report concerns so that officials can keep track of them. You can contact the department here.