Thousands of dead fish washing up in Irondequoit Bay and Erie Canal, New York, USA
Thousands of fish, dead from a viral infection and cold-water stress, are littering the open waters and shore of Irondequoit Bay and part of the Erie Canal.
Spring die-offs of fish are not uncommon, and the pathogen that causes viral hemorrhagic septicemia has been seen here before — but this year’s outbreak appears to be especially bad.
“Hundreds of them are floating up. You would think they would sink to the bottom but they seem to keep going back and forth with the breeze,” said George Wolf, who lives on the Webster side of the bay south of the Route 104 bridge.
“Once the weather breaks it’s going to be terrible down here. You won’t be able to go outside,” he said.
Residents apparently are on their own to dispose of dead fish that wash ashore.
Many of the fish are gizzard shad, a type of herring that can grow to a foot or more in length. Wolf estimated that many thousands of them have died on the bay, where their carcasses have attracted hordes of gulls and other birds.
Courtesy of democratandchronicle.com