A large number of fish were found dead in the Hebbal lake here on Friday night.

The fish, including varieties such as katla, rohu, common carp and grass carp, were being reared by B.S. Manjula, a resident of Gokulam locality, under a government scheme for the unemployed.

Ms. Manjula, who had taken the lake on lease two years ago, and her relatives went to the lake on Saturday morning. Ms. Manjula's uncle, Chennanka, who keeps guard at the lake, noticed the fish floating in the water. “I telephoned the authorities concerned and informed them about the incident,” he said. Most of the dead fish weighed between 1 and 3 kg.

Lakes of less than 26 acres are leased to unemployed youth for fish rearing after collecting a nominal sumit is learnt.

“This is the second time fish have been found dead in the lake. Last year, many fish died but we ignored the incident. But this year thousands of fish have died,” said Mr. Chennanka.

Mr. Chennanka suspected that the fish might have died due to contamination of the water. It is not clear whether sewage was flowing into the lake. Many industries are located in the vicinity of the lake. Ms. Manjula was giving training in fish rearing by the Fisheries Department under the scheme. Fingerlings were provided to her and they were released into the lake in 2009-10.

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