Residents in the Flushing area observed fish of all sizes gasping for life or floating dead on the surface of the lake from Tuesday night through Wednesday.
According to the Parks Department, natural wells fill Kissena Lake with water, but green-blue algae growth precipitated by the flash flooding caused oxygen levels to drop off and endanger the fish. Workers from the agency were at the lake Wednesday with mechanized pumps to add oxygen to the water and prevent any further damage from being done.
“Starting Wednesday morning, NYC Parks staff have worked quickly to address this issue, bringing in aerating water pumps and coordinating with DEC to investigate further,” the Parks Department said in a statement.
An estimated 150 fish were killed in total as of Thursday, but this number is expected to rise as more fish float to the surface.
The department reported on Friday that the oxygen levels have been restored and the water is once again safe for fish.