Mass fish kills reported in 15 rivers and lake in North Carolina, USA

Fish Kill Alert

Widespread fish kills have been reported in 15 North Carolina coastal rivers and lakes; the state Wildlife Resources Commission predicted this week that the trend will continue, perhaps for weeks.

An investigation is underway, but biologists said in an Oct. 4 report that they believe the deaths are due to flooding produced by Hurricane Florence, which brought up to 35 inches of rain to some parts of the state.

Their conclusion is that fish kills “will persist for several more weeks,” said the report.

Among the best known of the fish kills is one reported Sept. 23 by the Charlotte Observer, involving thousands of fish spread across Interstate 40 in Pender County. Firefighters used hoses to push the fish off the road after the floodwater receded, the Observer reported.

“These fish kills, while unfortunate, are naturally occurring events that typically follow a major hurricane,” said a statement issued by Chad Thomas, the commission’s coastal fishery supervisor.

The cause is not floodwater contaminants or pollution, the state report said. It’s a lack of oxygen in the water and it has spread beyond rivers to streams, canals, lakes and even private ponds, officials said.

Courtesy of

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