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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fish Kill at Fish Creek

It smells fishy at Fish Creek this week.

Dead Fish at Fish Creek, Southeast Arlington, TX

Fish Creek, Southeast Arlington, TX

Poor Fish found dead at Fish Creek 9/12/12

A local resident of the Fish Creek Neighborhood who knows Fish Creek like the back of his hand discovered many dead fish this week while headed to his favorite fishing spot.  He states in an e-mail dated September 12th:

"There has been a fish die-off in Fish Creek. I have seen bass up to about 2.5 pounds as well as catfish and sunfish (commonly called perch). There was cloudy, white water coming from the arm of the creek that crosses Green Oaks Blvd. near the Methodist church between New York Ave. and 360. That was on Sept. 10th. Someone from the city told me that it was due to oxygen depletion, but I do not believe that. The oxygen levels in the water should be greater now than they were before the recent rains and the temperature is not as high as it was a few weeks ago. Anyway, I doubt that the city will do any investigation. I also contacted the EPA, but only got a recording. I left my phone number, but they have not yet called back. If I knew how, I would post some pictures of dead fish. The lack of fish to eat mosquito larvae is not going to help control the mosquito population, and, of course, live fish have a longer-lasting effect on mosquito populations than pesticide treatments which only have a short-term effect."

Although the budget limits the types of tests which can be run,  the City is currently looking into the following possibilities to determine the mysterious cause of this week's fish kill:

Dissolved Oxygen – indicates the stream's ability to support aquatic life.
Chlorine – indicates a potable water source.
Ammonia – can indicate potential sanitary waste, industrial source, fertilizer.
Surfactant – can indicate potential sanitary waste, industrial source.
Copper – can indicate potential herbicide, industrial source.

We do appreciate the efforts of our Public Works team that is investigating this case.   We hope our natural spaces will remain a safe haven for generations to come. 

Joel Thomas of CBS local News visited our neighborhood  yesterday to investigate this story. 


  1. Some of that water is deep enough for a catfish.

  2. Last night at the budget meeting I asked council to budget for more water testing monies, but the bell rang and I was outta time and the other speaker was next and so the meeting wuld then go over 15 minutes and so I did not go into detail about how we need to be testing for drilling effulents ya know like heavy metals, secret frack chemicals, bentonite...etc.

  3. [...]
    Fish CreekFish Creek is a stream located just 3.6 miles from Grand Prairie, in the state of Texas, United States. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish here.

    So grab your favorite fly fishing rod and reel, and head out to Fish Creek. If all goes well, the catfish will be hooked by your chubs, the copper nose will be biting your frog and the largemouth will be grabbing your hot dogs.

    Fishing at Fish Creek

    People may be still be fishing for these fish and eating them. Seems this kind of situation should require a major effort to find out why these fish have died. And to alert people about this and prevent any fishing downstream and upstream from this fish kill. A fishing license is required to fish from Fish Creek!

    Have the cities of Arlington and Grand Prairie initiated some kind of ALERT?

    1. Excellent point, Westchester. If there are any fish left in the creek, I would cringe to think of anyone enjoying a Friday Night Fish Fry with family and friends. I haven't heard anything from our cities warning residents about the potential danger of eating these fish or even putting one's hands or feet into that water. What if this was due to a toxic discharge?

  4. The City must let us know what is killing our fish. And what is that white foamy stuff in the creek? Check our photos and videos on YouTube under 'Dead Fish in Fish Creek, Arlington, TX'

  5. As usual, our City has a ready explanation blaming it on the weather. It's time for the Fish Creek Neighbors to set aside some of that gas royalty money to pay for our own independent testing.

    When this fish kill was originally brought to the City's attention, we were told that one possibility for the fish kill could be the bentonite clay exploding up from gas drilling. The man who told us this said it as though he had seen this sort of thing happen before. Our guess is that someone at the City probably shushed him for opening his mouth.

    We also spoke with a TCEQ rep who shared information about a fish kill that happened last year in North Richland Hills caused by laying gas gathering pipelines near Highway 820. We are disappointed that TCEQ refused to come out and test our water. Perhaps they did not want to make a similar discovery.

  6. Why would channell 11 interview someone from the Parks Department when it should be someone from the water testing depart?
    ----- Forwarded Message ----
    From: Matt Young
    To: kim feil
    Sent: Fri, September 14, 2012 10:24:53 PM

    As far as I know, Arlington's test did not show low oxygen levels either. I asked him if they can test for Bentonite (drilling mud) and West Nile chemicals, here was his response.

    ----- Forwarded Message ----
    From: Matt Young
    To: kim feil
    Cc: Cynthia Simmons
    Sent: Sat, September 15, 2012 10:19:52 AM
    Subject: RE: What about West NIle chemical on FishCreek-question on Bentonite used in drilling mud

    I am not sure. Our environmental compliance staff in the Storm Water Department would be the ones that could answer that question. I'm sorry, but I am not familiar with the testing processes that they use to check for contaminants.

  7. It was Friday Assistant in the Parks Department must have been the only one available to go on the air?! It does exemplify a certain lack of concern by the City Manager.

  8. This water should be tested to find out that why large number of fish die. We can not say that it was due to insufficient oxygen in water.

  9. thanks for share.

  10. A City worker seemed to think bentonite clay was the culprit, but later shut down about that theory. Pipeline boring jobs do go wrong as we see here: