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What's Up With That: Fish Are Dying In the LA River

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"What's Up With That" attempts to answer your queries about our odd urban landscape. Email with questions.

A reader writes: "I go out on the LA River bike path regularly. Last week, I noticed a bunch of odd shapes lying in the river...they were large dead fish. In one mile of river, I counted over 90 appx. 2' length Carp (probably), all having died at the same time...

Of course, many other species not large enough to wash up may have died as well. What's happening in the nascent ecology of the once-moribund LA River? I talked [to a friend] at FOLAR [Friends of the Los Angeles River]; no idea the real cause although both he and I suspect an algae bloom gobbling up all the oxygen in the room, and thus fish die from lack. Usually that means something like nitrogen fertilizer runoff in the water from agriculture, landscaping especially heavy users like golf courses.."

What part of the river?
"The part I am talking about is accessible from Zoo Drive (exit either from 5N or 134W) and viewable either side of the entrance to the LA River Bike Path, across from the soccer fields parking lot. Large lumps in the river and on closer inspection...eew!

I've also included sad pic of a heron picking at some flotsom amidst the concrete and trash, cropped for clarity but mate is sitting nearby. Nothin to eat in this river.."

Perhaps blogger Nature Trumps, who had written about the birds dying in the river, has an answer?
· What's Up With That: Downtown's One Way Streets [Curbed LA]