Herriman pond closed after hundreds of fish found dead


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HERRIMAN — A community pond in southwest Salt Lake County remains closed indefinitely after hundreds of fish were found dead floating in it.

Utah wildlife biologists estimate about 500 fish have died at Cove Pond within the Cove at Herriman Springs, but it could be more, said Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokeswoman Faith Heaton Jolley. She said biologists confirmed the large die-off Monday after receiving a report from visitors earlier in the day.

The pond was full of catfish, bluegills and green sunfish that the agency stocks. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologist Scott Root said Tuesday that biologists found "lethally low levels" of dissolved oxygen, but it's not clear yet what caused that.

"We recommend that anglers do not eat any fish they may have harvested from the pond on Monday out of an abundance of caution," Jolley said in a prepared statement.

It's unclear what caused the massive die-off, but some visitors noticed dead fish as early as Sunday.

Aspynn Scott-Boehme said she's visited the pond several times and says it's a popular fishing spot, including for children. But she and her boyfriend were stunned when they came across the die-off.

"Definitely, walking up on this was devastating," she told KSL-TV on Tuesday. "All of the catfish had floated to the top, as well as a bunch of baby fish."

A spokesperson for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality told KSL.com that state wildlife biologists and local governments will oversee water testing currently underway before any additional action might be taken.

Jolley said the pond will remain closed until a cause is pinpointed and fixed, and the pond is considered safe again; a timeline remains to be determined. Once that does happen, the Root said the division will restock the pond with fish again.

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Carter Williams is a reporter who covers general news, local government, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.
Shelby Lofton

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