FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – A popular Hamilton County beach is closed for fear that taking a swim could make you sick.
Officials tested the water at Saxony Beach in Fishers last week and found a high level of E. coli.
It had already been closed on weekdays because the school year began, but the bacteria forced it to close over the weekend.
And officials say that’s how the problem started. The beach normally has people on it, sometimes hundreds at a time. But with no one around on weekdays, a different crowd has flocked to the beach making a mess of the place.
“I think any day fishing’s a good day,” said Artie Pineda as he stood along the dock, fishing rod in hand.
And it sure doesn’t hurt when you hook a few along the way.
“All the times we’ve come we fish right off this dock here. We’ve never left disappointed.”
But fishing under the sun isn’t the only reason he visits Saxony Beach Park. “We’ll bring both our sons and my wife we’ll sit out there and enjoy the beach with them,” he said.
But taking a dip in the water isn’t something he’s allowed, let alone willing to try this week. Scattered across the sand and inside the water are plenty of reasons not to do that.
“We test daily for bacteria and E. coli and things like that and we did get a hit for E.coli,” said Scott Fadness, Fishers Town Manager.
The culprits are Canada Geese. Although they weren’t at the beach during our visit, there was plenty ofhe proof they’ve been soaking up the sun. Geese excrement and feathers were all over the sand, especially where it meets the water.
“What they leave behind obviously has some bacteria in it. It went into the lake,” said Fadness.
“Kind of worried a little bit, kind of makes me not want to necessarily fish here,” said Pineda.
Fishing is permitted, but not swimming. The city doesn’t want anyone in the water until the E. coli level drops. A few rain showers should help that process, but the real solution is getting rid of who’s causing the mess.
“We actually have a contractor out right now that helps us try to keep the geese off of this particular site through a myriad of different activities, all of them non-lethal in any way to the geese,” said Fadness.
“I think that’s great that the city of Fishers is taking a proactive step towards everything. Really glad because I like this spot,” said Pineda.
Fadness said that contractor will visit the beach daily to help get rid of the geese. One tactic includes using a dog to chase them away. If there’s enough rainfall, he said the beach could open by Saturday. But if the E. coli level doesn’t drop, the beach will remained closed as long as necessary.