Cape Town - Zeekovlei residents have been warned not to eat any dead fish found in the area as the City of Cape Town has been collecting thousands of dead carp, believed to have died of natural causes.
The city said an estimated 5 000 individual fish or 6 to 7 tons have been removed, as the bodies of the fish bloat and rise to the surface.
"Fish kills, which refer to a localised die-off of fish populations, often occur at this time of the year with the change of seasons when water levels are low and temperatures are high," City of Cape Town Area Manager Asieff Kahn said.
"Fish sometimes become stressed during breeding and they may pass on infectious disease due to the grouping of large numbers of adult fish together."
The city is investigating to confirm the cause of death as samples taken in the area on Thursday show toxicity is not a cause for concern.
Algal toxins from the sample were well below the guideline limits in the affected area Khan said. "The fish bodies are being transported to the City’s Vissershok landfill site."
Zeekoevlei is a major freshwater lake found on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape. Also known as "hippopotamus lake," 'zeekoe' being Afrikaans for hippopotamus and 'vlei' meaning lake, the estimated 250ha body of water can be found about half an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
While hippo are no longer found in the area, neighbouring Rondevlei Nature Reserve is believed to be home to the only group of hippos in the greater Cape Town area.