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City investigates fish kill in southeast Austin

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Something strange is going on in a southeast Austin neighborhood. Hundreds of fish went belly up in a local pond. Tuesday, the city and a local business are trying to figure out what happened.

The city of Austin says more than 200 fish were found dead in a pond near the Onion Creek Golf Club. They're running tests to see what happened. In the meantime, residents there are frustrated by what they see and smell.

When Jean Tarcz walked outside to the retention pond behind her home near Onion Creek Golf Course Monday she couldn't believe her eyes.

"I saw all these huge fish out there floating…dead." Tarcz said.

She says she feels the owner of the retention pond, onion creek club, neglected to care for the pond.

"If you keep the water this low, the aerators cannot work and they just become clogged," Tarcz said.

Onion Creek Country Club management says the drought is causing the low levels.

They do use the water in the pond for irrigation on the golf course, but add they aren't able to refill the pond because of summer water restrictions.

Country club management released the following statement:

"I appreciate your interest in the extremely low water level of our retention pond on Pebble Creek Drive. Our ability, or really, our inability to fill this pond is a direct result of the drought that we are all suffering. We're obviously more concerned about the current water shortage and how it is affecting Onion Creek than anyone, and while recent rains have helped, the Edwards Aquifer which is used to fill this retention pond is at an all-time low. In fact, like everyone else, we have been faced with a restriction limiting our ability to pump from the aquifer by 30 percent. This is all magnified by evaporation that occurs at a greater speed when the surface area of the pond is reduced. Unfortunately, rain and an end to the drought conditions are the only true solution to this problem.

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119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

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Fax: (512) 495-7001

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