VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Residents looking to spend a day out fishing at Stumpy Lake might encounter several dead fish throughout the course of the week.
Those who live around the lake tell 13News Now that hundreds of dead fish, coupled with an unpleasant smell, are plaguing the waters along Elbow Rd. near the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach City line.
Julie B. Braley with the Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation department tells us that this isn't an uncommon thing and that it is safe for people to fish at the lake.
Braley says this has happened every year for the past decade. She says the lake is so shallow and the tannins from the cypress trees in the water provide a dark environment which leads to lower levels of oxygen in the water and less plant growth underneath.
Because of the shallowness, the water heats up faster when the temperatures rise and results in low concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the water.
Park crews were at the scene to check on the nature of the incident, but Braley says birds and other wildlife have benefited from the phenomenon.
The Parks and Recreation Department is in close contact with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries about this incident.