Misused Chemical Kills Dozens of Fish in Columbia Lake

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COLUMBIA - Dozens of fish lay dead in the water of Shady Lake Tuesday, after property maintenance workers misused an algae-killing chemical.

Lake owner Gordon Burnam said residents and lake-goers were complaining about the amount of algae building up in the lake. His maintenance workers made a mistake when putting the chemical "Karmex" in the lake.

Burnam has been in contact with state officials regarding the incident. Burnam said lake management is doing its best to clean it up.

"Our tenants like to see the lake we have here in the park but because of nature with excess rains and all that, said Burnam. "We've had an excess amount of algae and other things that have pretty well covered 75-percent of the lake."

Lake management used a boat and net to clean up most of the fish Tuesday afternoon.

The Missouri Department of Conservation said it often offers advice to lake owners on how to get rid of algae. A department spokesperson said it usually does not get involved with the physical application of chemicals in situations that involve commercially-owned lakes.