Dead fish, foliage horrid

On a recent stroll around the lake at Centennial Park, I was disappointed to see evidence of the heavy use of weedkiller.

One could hardly walk 10 feet without noticing large clumps of brown vegetation along the pathway.

Not only were the skeletons of large weeds visually unappealing, but the view was psychologically disturbing.

I was wheeling my 17-month-old daughter along this pathway of chemicals and wondering if it was safe for her to be there.

It was even more disturbing when I looked down in the water and saw dozens of dead fish rotting by the shore.

Was it the runoff of the weedkiller that killed the fish?

A spokesman for the Rec Departmentsaid the spraying of trimec to control weeds had nothing to do with the recent dead fish.

A Department of Natural Resources truck carrying 1,000 pounds of catfish to a lake in Garrett County broke down about a week ago, he said.

Rather than have the fish die in the heat of the truck, they were

dumped in Centennial Lake.

Some of those catfish died anyway, and they were the kill I saw on the shoreline.

That makes sense. But the lake itself seems to be choking to death with heavy algae and other vegetable growth.

The Rec spokesmansaid a larger fish kill last spring was caused by a combination of acertain type of vegetation and some overpopulation of older species of fish.

But even if trimec had nothing to do with the fish kills,I still question its use.

I've been through a couple of parks in Baltimore County this summer and have never noticed the use of weedkillers in recreation areas.

A spokesperson for Baltimore County's Rec Department said

workers there don't use weedkillers along pathways.

Maybe Howard County should reconsider its policy.

How muchmore manpower does it take simply to chop down the weeds instead of spraying them? Whatever additional labor chopping takes, it would seem to be well worth it.

I know that the combination of dead vegetation and dead fish was a definite turnoff on an otherwise beautiful day.

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