City workers with pitchforks and nets removed 1,200 pounds of dead carp from the shores of Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo on Monday morning.
The carcasses were hauled to Chicago Grade Landfill in Templeton, said Freddy Otte, city biologist. The fish, he said, were in various stages of decomposition and had become a nuisance because of the stench.
Otte said it was difficult to wade too far into the lake because the sediment is still soft in some parts, so more fish will likely wash ashore. The city plans to monitor the situation and clean up as needed.
In addition, the city is sponsoring a creek cleanup day with Cal Poly on Sept. 20. That day, volunteers will assist with trash cleanup efforts at the lake.
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The fish are quickly dying off because of dropping oxygen levels as water levels at the lake become increasingly low. The lake is the driest it has been in 20 years.