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Dead carp clogging Neary Lagoon in Santa Cruz

By Cassandra Arsenault, Reporter, CassandraArsenault@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Apr 29 2014 09:54:54 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2014 02:00:00 AM CDT

Dead carp crowd Neary Lagoon

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -

Lately, Neary Lagoon has been looking like a graveyard for hundreds of dead carp.

Part of the lagoon was being drained because of a construction project, the fish died and then were thrown to the woods for raccoons.

"As part of our permit, our biologist is required to eliminate the carp as much as possible,” said Steve Wolfman, an associate engineer with Santa Cruz Public Works.

The city of Santa Cruz is killing fish, but it's actually helping the environment, according to California Fish and Wildlife. Carp aren't a native species and do more harm than good.

“They eat our native species, causing ecological problems, and they also influence negative water quality,” said Jon Jankovitz, District Fisheries Biologist.

When the carp look for insects or small fish to eat at the bottom of the lagoon, they disturb the environment by stirring up sediment into the water channel. This makes the lagoon much more muddy than it should be, and even hurts the fresh water.

Carp are believed to be from parts of Europe or Asia and brought over here by anglers. They are also causing a problem in Watsonville's Pinto Lake. The Fish and Wildlife biologists are working with the county to get a permit to kill off the fish out there as well.

California Fish and Wildlife have some theories on how the fish got to the remote Neary Lagoon.

“Sometimes people release their fish tank - they are the same species as koi, and they reproduce very quickly so one carp can produce up to a million eggs,” said Jankovitz.

Santa Cruz Public Works is asking for your help to keep them out.

“Don’t bring your goldfish to Neary Lagoon,” said Wolfman.