Hundreds of Dead Fish Surface in Agoura Hills Lake

The fish apparently died of oxygen deprivation due to an algae bloom in the water.

A massive cleanup was underway at Lake Lindero in Agoura Hills after hundreds of dead fish turned up in its waters -- at least 200 fish were seen belly-up drifing toward concrete banks.

In the past several days, something has been taking a chunk out of the lake’s fish population, including carp.

Residents sent NBC4 photos of the "fish kill" that they began noticing on Sunday.

"It can’t be healthy for kids around here. Can’t be healthy for adults," said Mark Odney, a Lake Lindero resident.

"Golf Projects Lindero" is the company that operates the lake’s country club. Its president, David V. Smith told residents they are not to panic.

"I would just ask homeowners to understand that this is something we are trying to address," he said.

Smith added that the kill is an unfortunate consequence of a dredging project earlier this year. If 5,000 yards of silt are pulled out of the lake, it kicks up nutrients from the bottom, he said. And, if hot weather is added to that, it results in an algae bloom.

"When algae blooms, then of course, it sucks oxygen out of the lake," Smith said.

The fish went lifeless after suffocating in the oxygen-depleted water. The solution is to kill the algae slowly with chemicals, but that may take a few weeks.

"It’s turned into a cesspool," Odney said.

Angry residents said they are "raising a stink" over the issue because they just can’t stand the stench of the dead fish.

Meantime, the lake's management company told NBC4 that it can’t kill all of the algae at once because that would kill more fish than it would save.

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