Residents want to know why fish are dying in South Bay lake

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Residents usually enjoy the view around Eastlake, but lately they have been shocked when they take a closer look at the water.

“We noticed there was some dead fish floating – kind of an odd sight to see," said Justin McMillen.

Over the past couple weeks, people out for a relaxing stroll around the lake have also been counting dead fish.

"They're popping up in different sections," said Dionte Hunter, walking around with his family.

Eastlake 1 HOA, which maintains the lake, believes a ruptured water main near the HOA office a couple of months ago led to the problem by pushing tons of dirt and debris into the lake. HOA officials said that toxic soil may have created an algae bloom, sucking up the oxygen the fish need to survive. The HOA says the fish die-off includes bass, bluegill and catfish.

Residents who enjoy the lake worry what it could mean for the rest of the wildlife here.

“It’s sad -- polluted -- not safe. I’ve never seen dead fish, ever, in this lake," said Karen Brabandt.

The HOA says its aeration pumps are working and they are doing water quality testing in an effort to get the oxygen in the lake back to a healthy level.

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