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Spillway closure kills some fish

BUCKEYE LAKE – ODNR’s decision to allow the lake level to rise two feet was good news for local businesses, residents and tourists, but bad news for the fish in the spillway channel.

Dozens of dead fish, mostly carp, were pulled out of the stream after the spillway was closed.

“They anticipate cleaning up over the next few days since some fish are caught in deeper stagnant pools,” said Licking County Emergency Management Director Sean Grady.

A Buckeye Lake State Park spokesperson said ODNR staff members were at the stream Wednesday morning to remove some dead fish, mainly carp.

“They’ve got to do something about the smell,” said resident John Geiger, who fears the worst of the fish kills is yet to come this summer. “This is getting worse every day. There’s not enough oxygen in the water to sustain the fish.”

Geiger said he understands we’re in for a long, hot summer. Since rain is the only significant water source to raise the level of the lake, he anticipates it will be a long time before the level reaches five feet, which is one foot below traditional full pool,

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