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Rescue saves fish left to die in Kedron stormwater pond

A stormwater pond, it turns out, is not just for flood control. It has its own little ecosystem.

So when a contractor for Peachtree City drained the stormwater pond near the Honeysuckle Ridge subdivision so repairs could be made, the fish who called it home were being left to die.

Enter nature lover Todd Strickland, a longtime city resident, who leapt into action Feb. 9 to rescue the wildlife. He marshaled his daughter and neighbors, armed with nets to catch the fish and large plastic tubs to keep them in water until they were relocated.

It was a filthy job, Strickland admitted, but it paid off big time.

“Being the nature lovers that we are, and a bit crazy probably, I was like, ‘You know, let’s go down there and see what we can do,’” Strickland said.

The rescue team waded through the mud and muck, pulling out some fish weighing 30 pounds or more.

“There were bass, brim, carp, catfish, tadpoles, crawfish, all sorts of things just stuck in the mud,” Strickland said. “We put as many as we could in the big containers, brought them to Lake Kedron and set them free.”

Strickland said he got the idea after talking with neighbors who were concerned about the pond draining and the smell it would leave behind.

Though he knew the repair work was imminent, Strickland said he was disappointed the city couldn’t do anything to save the fish or give the public better notice about the exact date the pond would be drained.

Then again, there is likely little precedent for a pond rescue operation the likes of which Strickland and friends undertook on their own. It was estimated they saved about 90 percent of the fish.

“I hope the city can figure out maybe some way on the other pond they will be working on or whenever they have to drain a pond, is there a way some effort can be made by the city or volunteers to try and save some of the fish if possible,” Strickland said. “There are more people probably out there like myself, and several people I know said they would have been happy to come help too.

“It’s really neat to see all the wildlife there. It was a wide range of fish. I just feel bad they’re just stuck out to die there in the mud, so I felt I had to do something.”

Below, Todd Strickland helps a big fish from a 55-gallon drum into Lake Kedron, where wildlife from the stormwater retention pond was relocated as part of a citizen-led operation. Photo/Submitted.



Cyclist's picture

There is a reason why the Georgia DNR states the following:

Stocking Fish
It is unlawful to release any wildlife, including fish or exotic fish, within this state except under permit from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. This does not apply to the stocking of legally possessed fish into private ponds.

<strong>It is unlawful to move fish from one body of water to another.</strong>

Do not release bait fish alive! Dispose of bait fish, such as blueback herring, shad, and golden shiners, so they cannot enter a stream, pond, or lake.


While this individual and his little merry band of helpers think they are performing a good deed they could end up negatively impacting Lake Kedron.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

was the fish kill in the small pond next to Lake Peachtree, DNR was called in there. That guy stood and watched as city staff took many nets of fish from the small pond and dumped them into Lake Peachtree. If you have seen Lake Peachtree in the last few weeks and you listened carefully, you would hear the faintest of fish noises. When you bend over to listen, these fishies are screaming at the top of their gills, "Would you PLEASE dump me back into my old pond?" Of course, the same DNR manages our EPD approved inspections and operations at our water plants and reservoirs, too.

NUK_1's picture

He moved a bunch of fish that were just going to die and rot for no reason. Kudos to Todd and his family as far as I'm concerned and a thanks also.Well done, sir!

I understand the DNR rules, but they are/should be only designed to keep certain invasive species out. Obviously, when a lake/pond/body of water is "stocked" with fish, those fishies are coming from one body of water to another. Oh need a "permit" from the DNR to do that. Expect a call soon, Todd. You moved fish a few miles without paying for a permit! That's a jailin' far as noticing crawfish in this drained pond, well, they are called "mud-bugs" for a reason and you didn't have to try and rescue those guys. They do just fine with about no water.

Cyclist's picture

I hear you but, here's the deal. Uncle Ho received an illegal shipment of Snakehead fish and his intentions were to cook the little darlings. So he cooked a few and since it was the Chinese New Year he elected to release a few in a local water impoundment as a measure of good luck for the coming year. This actually happened up in the northeast.

So just because a little city pond was stocked with "local fish" does not mean that it will remain pristine with the original fish. Invasive fish can be added later by another Uncle Ho or someone else who decides to get rid of an overgrown exotic fish(s) from their aquarium.

This gentleman, while is intentions were good, would most likely not know the difference between a Snakehead and a goby. So that's why the DNR has the rule ...don't move fish from one body of water to another.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

To keep invasive species(non-native if you please) from spreading...

if we had seawalls, no one would have to worry where dem fishies were at any time. Heard it from da mayor, no less! see below:

What the......?? Word has it, those carp go running when that tide rolls in!

NUK_1's picture

That's not good at all and can definitely be disruptive. Look at the Lionfish problem areas on the Gulf Coast have when aquarium-keepers decide to dump them in the ocean rather than much better alternatives. You could say the same about pythons in Florida too.

I just don't think what Strickland did here has anything to do with that, nor should he need a permit to do so or get blow-back about doing what is basic humanity, appreciation and respect for other living animals we are around.

brewster's picture

Especially this butt ugly fish - should have left them to rot in the sun.
Don't forget about the poor buzzards - they got to eat. Same as worms.

Anyone know what species that is?

But it's just a guess.

NUK_1's picture

At least it looks like that from the pic.

Cyclist's picture

ugly white amur AKA Grass Carp.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

SPQR's picture

when I saw this picture in the print version I couldn't believe my eyes. A Carp being rescued and moved to another lake/pond. As always the road to he** is paved with good intentions.

hutch866's picture

Very funny

Thanks for linking to that great clip of Andy Griffith and Howard McNear. This show still stands as the best comedy in TV history!

PTC Observer's picture

goes unpunished.

Gort's picture

Look at the size of that fish. PTC hasn’t seen a whopper, as big as that, since city council gave themselves a 100% pay raise!

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote for the Democrat.

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