Hundreds of dead fish wash up in Navesink River in New Jersey, USA
State environmental officials are trying to determine what is causing a large amount of dead fish to wash up in the Navesink River.
The dead fish started appearing late last week, particularly in the waters off Marine Park in Red Bank, a popular spot for pedestrians as well as boaters.
The number of dead fish began multiplying this week, to the point that they were visible from almost every spot along the bulkhead at the park. They also surrounded several boats.
While doing routine algae sampling of the river at the park, staff from the Monmouth County Health Department noted stressed and dying mehanden, said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Hajna said it could be the case of a predatory fish chasing a school of menhaden up the river where their large presence depleted them of oxygen.
DEP staff were on scene on Tuesday and a pathologist was scheduled to go to the site on Wednesday to collect some fish for analysis, Hajna said.
He said it appears to be relatively isolated situation with fish scattered in the area. Small groups of dead fish were pushed by the wind against bulkheads, he said.
He said it appears to be a result of bluefish and/or other predatory fish having chased the bunker into a confined part of the river with low salinity, where they consumed available dissolved oxygen and died.
The department has been studying the river to determine how to clean up its pollution, which studies have shown includes traces of human feces and animal waste.
The river is bordered by seven populous towns and its water quality has been downgraded several times since 2005.
Past studies have also shown pollution coming from leaking garbage Dumpsters and an overflowing water-oil separator.
Courtesy of nj.com