Because of an unforeseen biological anomaly, the Sparks Marina is experiencing some die-off of fish. This event is attributed to a “turnover” of the lake’s water because of a recent cold snap, city officials said in a news release.
Lake turnover can occur when there is a drastic change in weather and the layers of water with noted temperature differences begin to mix together, and when water that has been sitting at the bottom of the lake begins to mix with the layers of water above it. This can have an effect on a fishery such as the Sparks Marina.
The weather can cause dissolved oxygen levels to dip too low to sustain fish life, similar to what the Marina experienced in December 2013 and 2014 when there was a complete die-off of trout, catfish and bass caused from low oxygen levels in the water.
The city of Sparks is working with Nevada Department of Wildlife officials and scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno to monitor oxygen levels to better understand the problem and possible remedies. The impact of the low oxygen levels is dangerous to fish only. The water continues to be safe for dogs and people and there are NO public health or safety concerns at the Marina.
The water in the Sparks Marina is tested routinely. The body of water is a 77-acre fresh water lake and is replenished daily from groundwater. The city pumps on average 2.5 million gallons of water from the lake on a daily basis.