KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of dead fish have appeared in Kansas City’s Brush Creek, alarming people in the area.
The dead fish were first seen in the water near Emanuel Cleaver and Prospect Avenue, east of the Country Club Plaza.
“It’s disgusting. Not saying it’s never happened, but I personally never witnessed that amount of fish dead at one time. I’ve just never seen it,” said Terrence McKelvy, who was biking the path.
McKelvy recorded the dead fish and posted a video to his Facebook, that has been shared more than 1,000 times.
He said the smell is overwhelming.
“Asian Carp, you saw some grass carp, a lot of shad. They were all clumped together. Dead, floating,” McKelvy said.
State researchers believe this is a natural occurrence, but have taken water samples to be sure.
“It’s not uncommon in Brush Creek in the summertime, especially in the heat of summer or when we have a big rainstorm.” said Bill Graham, a media specialist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“When it’s a really heavy rainfall, the storm water moves into the sewer system too and overwhelms it and it winds up with a lot of sewage in Brush Creek.”
Graham said the sewage combined with hot temperatures and low water leads to low oxygen levels in the water, too low to support fish, and the fish kill occurs.
“We don’t really know if the fish died in that stretch of river, or washed into that stretch,” Graham said. “We’re talking about past experiences the department has with Brush Creek, and the particular fish kill we are having now, you will have to check with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.”
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is testing the water for toxins.
Environmentalist are waiting on water sample tests to come back, but as far as clean up, they plan to just let nature run its course.
“What happened? I think until somebody is able to say, hey this is possibly what happened to this, I think a lot of people are on edge,” McKelvy said.