Updated: Tuesday, 08 Jun 2010, 6:19 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 08 Jun 2010, 6:19 PM EDT
TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - It's the end of the fish tale you saw Monday only on News 4. What happened to the dozens of carp that swam their way onto the Brighton Golf Course?
This is about the big ones that got away, luckily, with the help of some maintenance workers, and Mother Nature, herself.
It was one of the strangest sights you'll ever see on a golf course. Dozens of carp had decided to play through to he 13th and 14th holes of the Brighton Golf Course, taking golfers by surprise.
John Occhipinti said, "Swimming around. Never seen anything like it here."
The record rainfall early Sunday morning had carried the carp from Ellicott Creek, though a culvert under the fairway, and into a newly created pond of flood water on the golf course, posing a major problem.
Town of Tonawanda Recreation Supervisor Jeff Rainey explained, "They are kind of stuck here right now."
24 hours later, the fish are gone. Maintenance workers found a way to save their lives. They dug a deeper path around the culvert, allowing water to flow more rapidly, draining the pond and encouraging the fish to reverse their journey and go back to Ellicott Creek.
"Once we opened up this flow, the fish that were in the pond over on 13 could move back down through 14, 15, 17 and 18. And then back to the creek," explained Rainey.
But did all the fish make out? Maintenance worker Jack Seitz, whose retirement after a 30 year career from the Parks Department was just 19 hours away, went fishing for carp as his last major chore.
Seitz said, "This is a great way to finish up a good time in the Town of Tonawanda."
He searched everywhere, through tall weeds and slippery muddy drop off points in the flood ponds, but Seitz said, "I'm finding sticks and mud and stones, and I fell in once, but I'm not finding too many fish."
So the carp found their way back home, about a quarter of a mile back to Ellicott Creek. Giving the course back to the golfers.
Jack Seitz kept on searching for any stragglers, but he couldn't find one. News 4 wishes Jack good luck on retirement. And that's the ending of our fish story, a happy ending all the way around.