ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Residents near Lytle Lake in Abilene spent their Monday cleaning up hundreds of dead fish that lined the shore of a private pond.

KTAB and KRBC spoke to long-time resident Warren Alkire, who was bagging up the fish and taking them to the street so they could be picked up by animal services.

He says that since it is a private pond, it is the residents’ responsibility to clean it up. He was hoping to get the job done before the heat made the smell, which was already gag-inducing, even worse.

Alkrie was on vacation all weekend when the kill happened, so Monday morning was the soonest he could address the situation, after the hundreds of dead fish had festered for days.

Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists have not had a chance to review this fish kill, but information from their website shows fish kills are commonly caused by low oxygen levels, extreme weather, diseases, infections, or algeae blooms.

According to Alkrie, who has lived near Lytle Lake since 1999, this pond has never been so low. It’s unknown if the low water caused this kill.

Read more about fish kills from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife:

The most common cause of fish kills in Texas is low dissolved oxygen. If there isn’t enough oxygen in the water, fish can’t “breathe.” Low dissolved oxygen can be the result of human activities, but in many cases it’s a natural occurrence.

Daily variations in dissolved oxygen concentration are attributed to photosynthesis and aerobic respiration. Increased dissolved oxygen during the day is a result of photosynthesis which is driven by sunlight. Photosynthesis stops at night and may slow down on cloudy days, but plants and animals in the water continue to respire and consume free oxygen, decreasing the dissolved oxygen concentration. Often before a kill event occurs, fish can be seen trying to get oxygen by gulping at the surface of the water early in the morning. Some fish may also be lying on the bottom or at the edge of the water.

Largemouth bass showing signs of infection

Other natural causes of fish kills include extreme weather (hot and cold), bacterial and viral diseases, and parasitic infections. In some cases algae blooms produce toxins that lead to fish kills. Visit our Harmful Algal Blooms section to learn more about golden alga, red tide, and cyanobacteria.

Extreme weather and harmful algal blooms tend to affect all species present. Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections typically affect only a single species.

No further information has been released.