Thousands of dead fish discovered at Lake Iroquois

Residents on Lake Iroquois discovered thousands of fish floating on the top of their lake. Watch the full story on Fox Champaign News at 5:30. (WCCU)

Residents on Lake Iroquois near Loda wake up to find dead fish floating in their lake Sunday morning.

Environmental agencies say it was caused by a lack of oxygen from the lake turning over.

This means the colder water at the bottom, which has less oxygen, rose to the top causing the fish to suffocate.

Neighbors are still working to clean up the mess.

“Just looking around it seems endless," said neighbor Nick Rodriquez.

Not one, but thousands of dead fish floated to the top of the Lake overnight.

“We were kind of not knowing what to expect, so when we walked out there and just seeing how they were all laying was unbelievable," Rodriquez said.

Rodriguez and dozens of other neighbors have been taking turns using nets to pick up the dead fish.

“We had a dump trailer and the red dump truck. We filled that up about four different times and we are on our third hole now that we have dug to bury the fish," he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources came out to the lake to do testing.

Jim Shearl is a member of the lake's association and said this has never happened before.

He's thankful for all the volunteers, some even making it a competition.

“There are some football player friends of one of the kids that are out here. [They] came to see who can lift the biggest fish," Shearl said.

Beau Kleinerd said he didn't plan on spending his summer vacation doing this, but has had some fun with it.

“I would get in the water yesterday with another kid to push [the fish] into the shore so they can pick them up," Kleinerd said.

There were some dead fish weighing almost 50 pounds, they said.

The EPA said it is unlikely this was caused by any type of chemical poisoning.

But one thing is for sure, the residents on the lake say they aren't eating fish for dinner anytime soon.

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