Video and images showing dead fish in a recently drained pond in the Stoney Creek area have Londoners outraged, but the city says the decision wasn’t up to them.
Late last week, a pond near Grenfell Crescent in London’s far northeast end was drained by city officials as part of usual procedures. Officials say these types of ponds are meant to collect run-off from roads and every 10 years or so they have to be cleaned out to make sure they can continue to function.
Residents in the area received a notice of construction and were aware that the pond was to be drained. However, the notice didn’t mention that the fish would be euthanized, leaving many residents startled and concerned.
— Robert Huber (@HuberRob) August 25, 2016
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A video posted to Facebook had been viewed over 9,000 times as of Tuesday morning.
Also on Facebook, Linda Umlauf wrote that she hopes “some action is taken on this!” while Pete Gerard noted “this is so sad” because of the death of so much wildlife. Others shared the post and commented in hopes of getting answers from the city.
The City of London, meantime, says when the notice was first sent out, they were under the impression that the fish would be relocated.
“We were unable to move the fish from this pond as we had original anticipated. We were directed by the ministry that they were to be euthanized,” Sewer Operations Engineer Ashley Rammeloo explains.
“We found out with very short notice that because of where it lies, it’s in this zone called the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia zone, so this is an area identified by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as having waters that are potentially infected with this virus.”
Rammeloo stresses that this is not within their normal practice and that the contractor has been instructed to bury the fish to minimize odour.
About a third of the fish were goldfish, introduced to the area by people who typically no longer want to care for them. She adds that within a few weeks the pond will have been cleaned out of sediment and the water level restored to its usual amount.
With files from Jess Brady.