The City of Las Cruces is taking a team approach to ensuring the health of Young Park pond and the aquatic life that resides within it. During the past several weeks, the City's Parks and Recreation, Facilities, and Utilities staff have met regularly to assess and monitor the water quality and oxygen, and address solutions to prevent a fish die-off in the pond moving forward.
In late May, and again a few weeks ago, Young Park Pond experienced the die-off of a significant amount of fish. Fishing lines became entangled in the pond's aeration system which led to the removal of those aerators for repair, and overcast skies contributed to lower oxygen levels.
In recent weeks, the City has ordered a new aeration system and is awaiting all parts to arrive. In the meantime, Parks and Recreation, Facilities and Utilities have worked together to develop a backup system to reintroduce oxygen into the water. While fountain style of aeration was previously used, and was successful, the City understands that a fountain may not be the only way to thoroughly distribute oxygen to the deeper levels of the water which can become stagnant during extended heat waves or stormy cloudy days like Las Cruces recently experienced.
Visitors to the pond the past couple days may have noticed a temporary system of several air-diffuser style aerators which work in conjunction with hoses, pumps and compressors to inject air and oxygen into the water at the lower levels of the pond. The diffusers are located underwater directly below the areas where visitors will see a series of bubbles working their way to the surface.
Staff is monitoring the water oxygen saturation level and manually circulating the water as needed to help prevent the aquatic life from further stress and to establish a water balance.
City staff ask for cooperation in keeping clear of the equipment surrounding the pond and ask for those who fish at the pond to be cautious of getting their lines caught. Staff also ask visitors to refrain from adding domestic pets to the pond such as goldfish, ducks, and turtles, and refrain from adding chemicals of any kind to the pond.