Dozens of dead, rotting fish stink up Castleton neighborhood

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Castleton neighbors are in a fishy situation. A pond by their homes is full of dead, rotting, and maggot-filled fish.

They blame the city, but Indianapolis Department of Public Works representatives say this was the plan all along.

The dead fish result from a public works drainage project that runs along 75th Street and Hague Road.

“The general feeling of the owners here was the city project was going to encompass removing the fish and the wildlife and relocating them [before draining the pond],” Castleton Farms Homeowner’s Association President Jerry Collins said. “Told there were a couple meetings a year or two ago. I didn’t attend the meetings.”

Collins only took over as HOA president in December and said he learned the animals would not survive in July.

DPW said they have been upfront about the fish kill, and their records show they have been in constant communication with the HOA about it. Collins said this isn’t a new project, and it has been in the works for years. Both Collins and the DPW reps said the pond must go through a dry-out period before they can dredge the pond. The project will ease decades of flooding issues for residents.

“As this community was here first, a lot of the rest of the community grows up around us and sheds their water to us downhill. We’ve had terrible flooding here for years. Some of the mailboxes were even underwater,” Collins described. “We’ve had some homeowners that have had it in their carpet. It came into their house.”

DPW said work on the pond should begin on Monday or Tuesday of this week, and the fishy smell will disappear by the end of the week.

During the drainage process, neighbors began removing turtles from the pond and moving them to Fort Harrison State Park. The city has already paid the HOA to restock the pond as part of their agreement to complete the work. Collins said they reached out to restocking companies, and it should happen in the spring.

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