Retention pond fish go belly up in Gainesville neighborhood

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) A resident of Eagle Trace Townhomes in Gainesville woke up to a fishy situation after he says dead fish surfaced in a nearby retention pond.

"We were really concerned because we thought it was maybe fertilizer," said Alexander Black, who says he was worried the water was poisoned.

He says he walked outside Tuesday to find a fishy feeding frenzy.

"Flying over in this direction probably at least a hundred, two hundred something birds," Black said. "And we were just concerned like what was dead."

Fish, and a lot of them, had gone belly up overnight in his neighborhood retention pond.

"We walked all the way around there and we saw thousands of fish."

So Black reported it to Alachua County Environmental Protection.

"We got a pretty bad cold snap last week," said Gus Olmos, Water Resources Manager for the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department. "And certain fish species are not tolerant to those kind of weather conditions."

Turns out the non-native tilapia couldn't take the freeze. Now the problem is... It stinks.

"It's going to smell really bad really soon," Olmos said. "The fish are going to start to decompose once it starts to warm up so someone needs to come and basically pick them up, clean them up, and properly dispose of it."

Black says he's speaking with the Eagle Trace homeowner's association to make sure that happens soon.