Families who love feeding the ducks down at Feltham pond may find their fun blocked by fences after it emerged the booming bird population was largely responsible for 300 fish fatalities this summer.
Suspicious residents originally blamed the environmental tragedy on hooligans dumping paint but the true cause was later revealed to be blue-green algae which shot up during the warm weather in early July and sapped oxygen levels in the popular pool, beside Feltham High Street.
Doug Napier, of Continental Landscapes, which manages the pond, told a west area council meeting: "According to the Environment Agency, this is a common problem in urban waters and highly likely to recur before long."
Mr Napier told concerned councillors that bird feeding was also contributing to the problem as the large number of Canada geese lurking around the pond were leading to a high nutrient build-up in the waters.
He put forward several possible solutions to the problem, including the installation of fences and hedges near the pool that deter the geese, who become nervous in enclosed spaces, but would not put off the popular duck population.
Cllr John Cooper said he would welcome any efforts to reduce the goose population, which he described as a 'menace'.
But Cllr Rebecca Stewart said she would strongly oppose any fencing, as she regularly took her own child to feed birds at the site.
Mr Napier said Continental Landscapes have not yet decided how to proceed at the site but they have decided not to restock the pond with more fish. "The fish themselves add to the problems at the pond by stirring up nutrients from the bottom," he added. "They also encourage fishing which causes many problems, including abandoned wire, which can harm wildlife."
He did suggest that fish would probably find their way back into the pool, particularly if the decision was taken to 'flush' the pond with water from nearby Longford River.