Rules go out the window to remove fish from Sand Creek

By Newton Now staff

Anyone who wants fish, get your nets, hands and anything else you want to use to catch them and remove them from Sand Creek, between First and 12th Streets.

Otherwise the city has concerns that with the heat, fish remaining in the creek following the dam failure will die and rot. For those unfamiliar, rotten fish in the hot sun stinks horribly.

“With the high temps that we’re having right now the temps can lower the oxygen levels making it harder for the fish to survive.”

As of Thursday afternoon, fish were already begining to die in the increasingly warm, oxygen deprived waters of Sand Creek.

To avoid such a scenario, The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism has issued a fish salvage order for Sand Creek.

This basically means that for the creek, almost all ways of catching the fish are now temporarily legal. People can use there hands, nets, rods, etc. There are also no limits on how many fish or the size of fish, people are allowed to take out. You do still need a fishing license.

People are not allowed by the state to transport the fish into any public bodies of water i.e. East Lake or Camp Hawk.

People can transport the fish further down the creek, but that doesn’t guarantee deeper areas won’t eventually get hot or dry out as well.
“If we don’t get rain it will become less and less water,” McDaniel said. “The best is to take the fish home and enjoy them.”

As of Wednesday morning, large groups of carp could be seen stranded in water in a section between the 10th and Ash St., Bridges.

There are also large schools of bait fish moving around in the water.

A large fish kill could make life difficult for those living around the creek or using the trail until the fish would decompose. It would also attract insects and scavengers.

Bait fish swirl around in the water that’s left in Sand Creek. People are allowed to take any fish they can out of the creek to avoid them dying and rotting in the hot weather.

The issue follows the Sand Creek rubber bladder giving way after heavy rains in May or June stressed and damaged it.
The city is looking into replacing the bladder, but the creek will remain low until at least a sewer pipe broadening project, which would have required the creek to be lowered, is completed in August.