Hundreds of fish turn up dead at Wyndham Lake

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 11:39 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A fishy situation unfolded at Wyndham Lake in Glen Allen on Monday. The residents in the surrounding neighborhood were in for a smelly surprise when they walked the shoreline.

About 1,000 fish turned up dead at Wyndham Lake at The Dominion Club. Residents like Trevor Price were extremely confused.

“It’s a lot. It’s bad,” Price said. “They were all just gone overnight, so what could have caused this?”

According to state officials, the fish were likely killed by low dissolved oxygen levels in the water.

The incident happened in the 17-acre body of water directly behind the clubhouse, TDC General Manager Dan Riker told the Henrico Citizen. On Sunday, a citizen saw about 100 dead fish and reported the finding to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

The DEQ then sent a Pollution Response team to meet Henrico County HAZMAT officials at the lake.

Since then, more and more fish turned up dead.

“The officials found about 1,000 dead fish and found that the lake had very low dissolved oxygen,” DEQ spokesperson Irina Carlos told the Citizen.

The temperature of the water was also approaching 80 degrees.

“Warm water holds less dissolved oxygen than cooler water, so you would expect to find lower dissolved oxygen readings in warmer water,” Heather Deihls, Virginia DEQ’s Water Compliance & Monitoring Manager, said.

Deihls said teams also observed no flow of water coming in or out of the lake, making for still conditions, thus lowering the oxygen levels, even more, killing almost all of the fish.

“I was planning on going fishing on Wednesday with a friend of mine,” Price said. “He called me up and he was like, ‘Dude, there are no fish anymore, they’re all gone.’”

Several neighbors came out to see it for themselves.

“I was surprised,” 16-year-old resident Charlotte Rosel said. “When my mom told me there were dead fish, I didn’t think there were going to be this many, especially just floating in the middle of the lake.”

This isn’t the first time Wyndham Lake has seen a fish kill. In 2014, a similar situation happened.

“I think it happened like five years ago, but I’ve never seen it happen this bad,” Rosel said.

As for resolving the issue, the DEQ cannot intervene since it is not a public lake. Deihls said the homeowners association has tried to fix it in the past by putting in a fountain to get more oxygen moving through the water.

The Dominion Club privately owns the lake. NBC12 requested a statement about what they’re doing about the situation, but TDC has yet been able to provide a comment.

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