A number of deceased fish were recently noticed by residents in Shadow Lake in the Ridges subdivision. The first were noticed earlier this week when existing ice began to melt due to warm temperatures.
Wintertime is a common cause of death for fish in Shadow Lake, which is a shallow reservoir with excess amounts of aquatic vegetation and sedimented bottom. These types of bodies of water are prone to this problem. Fish that die during the winter are generally not noticed until after the ice recedes and the dead fish, temporarily preserved by the cold water, rise to the surface. During periods of prolonged ice cover, water in the lake is sealed off from the atmosphere above and the water is not recharged with oxygenated air as normal. Furthermore, ice and snow covering the lake reduce the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants, thus, lowering the amount of oxygen they can produce.
Water levels were lowered between three and four feet beginning on February 1st for maintenance activities and then refilled beginning on February 5th. No additional fish mortality is anticipated; City of Grand Junction crews have started the cleanup effort already.
The City works closely with Colorado Parks & Wildlife to assess the health of aquatic species in these types of bodies of water.
Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager | 970-244 1557 or firstname.lastname@example.org