LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With the weather being nicer today than it has been in a while, people headed outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, but not everyone had a pleasant time.
The pond at Morris Frank Park is known for being a peaceful and clean area, but this morning, it was anything but. When Scott Dickinson, a Lufkin man who frequents the pond, walked from his house to the pond, he saw something he'd never seen before.
"We came out here and we saw a couple of dead fish," said Dickinson. "I then walked over to the dock and there was eighteen to twenty-four dead fish all around the pond."
Lufkin Water Pollution Control along with Lufkin Parks and Recreation were called to investigate the unusual number of dead fish.
After observing the situation, both departments were able to identify the dead fish were all Tilapia.
"We put them in to eat up all the algae and the foreign obstacles in the water," said Lufkin Parks and Recreation Director Mike Akridge. "We brought them in and put them in the pond in the spring and this year it was a little colder than normal and it killed a bunch of them."
Tilapia are naturally warm-weathered fish. Akridge said they put them in other local ponds, like the one at Ellen Trout Zoo, but those bodies of water were larger. He believes that the smaller size of the pond, along with the freezing weather, contributed to the Tilapia deaths.
Water Pollution Control observed that other species of fish in the pond were fine, but decided to test the water's toxin levels to make sure there weren't any other contributing factors,