RICHARD KHAVKINE, NEWS TRIBUNE, JULY 31, 2006
PISCATAWAY — Thousands of fish have perished in New Market Lake in recent days. The carcasses of bass, carp, sunfish, catfish and other species began washing to the shore on Saturday, according to residents.
While county and local health officials have not yet determined a cause for the massive fish kill, township Mayor Brian Wahler said initial tests indicate that a lack of oxygen caused by the recent heat wave is responsible.
The township’s Department of Public Works worked through the morning and into the afternoon, netting the dead fish and placing them in orange plastic bags before suspending work for the rest of the day.
Wahler said a private contractor would be on site Tuesday morning to supplement cleanup efforts by the township’s Public Works Department.
A private testing firm also has been enlisted to help further determine the kill’s cause.
Into early afternoon Monday, dozens of dead golden carp, some weighing about 25 pounds, according to locals, bobbed along the surface among hundreds of diminutive sunfish.
A putrid odor enveloped the residential neighborhood along Lakeview Avenue off Washington Avenue as the fish bobbed along the shore of the 1-mile body of water.