Fish Kill at Area Lake

The flooding at Bickham Dickson Park turned the entire park into a lake, but it also turned it into a classroom for LSU students and resulted in lots of things they think are worth studying. "Nutrient levels, chemical action demand, levels of clorafil, nitrate phosphate," says Steve Banks, a professor of Biology at LSU. Most notable effect to us, lots of dead smelly fish. "When the Red River floods into these zones it has an effect ecologically as you can see on these zones," says Banks. According to the students studying this lake these fish were the victim of the very thing that allowed them to flourish, the flood and the receeding water, they basically ran out of oxygen. "As the levels fall there's a lot of organic material that rot, and bacteria sucks most of the oxygen out of the water," says Banks.  That's why thousands of young fish went belly up. A mess the city will clean up after the level has returned to normal. But what's a mess to the fisherman, or just the person wanting to relax, is - for students - an opportunity to answer ecological questions about the effects of flooding on this lake.