City of Moncton closes Jones Lake amid testing, dozens of dead fish washing ashore

The City of Moncton has closed Jones Lake to recreational use as a precautionary measure while they await test results.

The decision — which was announced on Tuesday afternoon — came days after dozens of fish began washing up along the shores of the man-made lake.

By Tuesday, the heat had made the smell of the dying fish quite offensive to many of the area’s residents.

Stephanie Stokes, who often brings her two-year-old son to see the lake’s ducks, said she’s concerned about the safety of the water in the park.

“It’s a little gross and dirty and not sanitary for children,” Stokes told Global News.

David Hodder, who kayaks in Jones Lake, says he won’t be launching off his vessel until he knows why the fish died.

“Is it a natural situation or is it something that has been added to the water? And of course, there is the concern for the people that have the opportunity to use this wonderful resource.”

Investigators with the provincial department of environment took water samples from the lake on Monday and they have been sent off for testing.

Officials say there is no sign of land pollution near the lake.

But a biologist with the Université de Moncton says residents should not be concerned for their safety.

“I don’t think it is worrisome,” said Simon Lamarre.

“I think what may have happened is that the temperature may have increased a bit too quickly this year, and the fish were already weak from reproduction.”

He explained that rapid temperature change in water can result in a lack of oxygen and killing the fish, which have been identified as white suckers.

Lamarre said it’s not uncommon to see this type of event happen to the fish species. However, it’s not often this visible as the deaths don’t often occur in a lake in the middle of a city.

The City of Moncton began cleaning up the dead fish on Tuesday afternoon.

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