Last updateFri, 30 Sep 2022 3pm


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New spate of mass fish deaths blights Lake Cajititlan

In a case of history repeating itself, thousands of dead fish appeared last weekend in Lake Cajititlan, the small body of water located in the municipality of Tlajomulco midway between Guadalajara and Chapala, and often referred to as Lake Chapala’s younger sibling.

pg7bThe fish affected are carp and a species called Astyanax aeneu (from the Characidae family) but referred to locally as popochas.

Previous incidents of mass fish deaths occurred in the same lake in 2013, 2014 and 2015. While state authorities said seasonal temperature variations together with build up of algae, leading to a reduction in oxygen levels, was the cause, independent investigators believed contamination of the lake was a significant factor.

As in the past, speculation has again surfaced, questioning whether fertilizers used in cornfields adjoining the lake may have filtered into the breeding grounds of the fish.

As a fetid odor began to permeate lakeside communities, authorities this week began the arduous task of removing the dead fish from the lake. In 2014, 114 tons of fish hard to be extracted from Lake Cajititlan.

The local fishermen’s association has asked the municipal and state governments for assistance at this difficult time.

Ironically, only a week ago Tlajomulco Mayor Salvador Zamora released a video on social media showing a pristine Lake Cajititlan, and boasting of its cleanliness.

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