Hundreds of small sunfish have mysteriously died in a small park pond in the last week.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Kashmir Singh, who has maintained the Grover Cleveland Park for eight years.
Singh, who was walking around the pond with a pool skimmer Friday, said many of the fish developed a fuzzy, white growth on their heads.
“It almost looks like a barnacle on the fish, and then soon after it appears, the fish dies,” said Bruce Davita, chief project coordinator for the Essex County Parks Department.
More than 300 sunfish in the pond have died this way, Davita said. Before the mold-like substance grows, the fish turns a dark brown or black color.
The pond, located at Brookside Avenue and Runnymede Road, is the site where the county plans to kick off a fishing derby May 1. Davita said a state Fish and Wildlife biologist told him there’s no health concern...