Fishy situation: Thousands of koi mysteriously drop dead in Florida neighborhood

Oxygen levels were normal in ponds

Thousands of fish turning up dead in same Coconut Grove neighborhood

COCONUT GROVE, Fla. – Thousands of pricy koi fish have mysteriously turned up dead during the past couple weeks at several homes in a South Florida neighborhood.

The impacted homeowners in Coconut Grove are devastated and heart broken, News 6 partner Local 10 News reports.

The scary thing is that the issue has been repeating itself at different homes in Coconut Grove during the past several weeks and everyone wants to know why.

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Lee Marks and his family were very upset to find that the koi and other exotic fish that lived in their pond turned up dead Saturday morning.

“All these beautiful koi fish and other fish just dead,” he said. “It’s just awful. It’s horrible.”

Now Marks, like many others, wants to find out the reason

“They just all don’t die at once like that,” he said.

Jen Wheeler is the owner of Pond Doctors. She services fish ponds all over South Florida.

In the past two weeks, she’s responded to five homes, four in this same Coconut Grove neighborhood, that have all experienced similar devastating fish kills.

Thousands of fish have turned up dead from one day to the next, all in the same area.

“To have them suddenly pass away for some unknown reason is really scary because you also start to think what else is this affecting,” Wheeler said. “Other than the fish that we are in love with.”

It’s more than fish, too. Birds, plants and even mammals have been turning up dead; at least two wild racoons have also died, all in the same neighborhood.

“It came up right up the driveway and turned on its side,” Marks said. “It looked like it might be playful, but it was convulsing and just died.”

Wheeler said the oxygen levels in all the ponds she serviced were normal.

“To have so many animals affected by this, something is going on,” she said.

She even called the only mosquito company authorized by Miami-Dade County to control infestations and the issue wasn’t them either.

“They had not been spraying aerially since 2017 and had not used their trucks anywhere where we’re having problems,” Wheeler said.

Dead fish also turned up at the pond at Miami’s Simpson Park.

The common denominator is that all the ponds source their water from wells connected to the aquifer.

“We’re still trying to figure out what’s in the ground water and what is causing it,” Wheeler said.

Both DERM and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have been contacted.

Water samples have been taken at other ponds that have been affected by this. Local 10 News will continue to investigate as those results come in.


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About the Author:

Louis Aguirre is an Emmy-award winning journalist who anchors weekday newscasts and serves as WPLG Local 10’s Environmental Advocate.