NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A lake full of dead fish in a Queens park left residents confused on Thursday.

Dozens and dozens of dead fish filled Kissena Lake in Flushing, while carp swam to the surface and gasped for air, trying to stay alive.

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As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, locals who have been watching the fish die slowly over the past few days were troubled by the sight.

“They were taking the nets, and dragging the fish out, and throwing them in the garbage pails,” Claudia Hollander said.

“I’ve been here for 25 years and I’ve never seen this kind of devastation,” Robert Allen said.

People at Kissena Park started noticing the fish inside of the catch and release lake suddenly dying on Wednesday morning.

The Department of Parks and Recreation told CBS2 that the lake was low on oxygen.

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“The water was low on oxygen. Likely due to an algae bloom following the heavy rain,” the department said.

They have been pumping fresh water into the lake which seemed to be providing some relief, but many people said that isn’t enough and fear that the damage is already done.

“As a biomedical engineer, I don’t think that will help. They’ve got to do something,” one man said.

The Parks Department said the lake has natural wells to keep the water flowing, but locals claim the wells don’t work.

“Usually there’s only one well working, that would be on the west side of the lake, and that’s not enough to put fresh water back into the lake,” Joe Swantek said.

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The Parks Department cleared away the pumps for the night and said they would be back out on Friday morning to re-evaluate and see how the fish are doing.