October 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm #860MikeKeymaster
About 40,000 dead following fish kills in the Neuse River
Sun Journal Staff
Two fish kills within the past couple of days have resulted in about
40,000 dead fish in the Neuse River near Flanner’s Beach, according
to the Division of Water Quality.
The first kill started on Wednesday and was in the middle of the
river, said Susan Massengale, spokesman for DWQ. She said 21,000
fish, mostly juvenile menhaden in the two- to three-inch range, were
A second kill, closer to shore, began on Thursday and totaled about
20,000 fish. Massengale said about 90 percent were menhaden but
mentioned a few blue crabs, spot and perch also died.
“Menhaden are not the sturdiest of fish,” Massengale said. “They tend
to be the canaries in the coal mine.”
These are the first reported Neuse fish kills of the summer, which is
when most of the fish kills occur on the river.
Massengale said samples and data from the river indicate a layer of
low oxygen about 10 feet below the surface may have caused the kill.
“There’s basically no oxygen for the fish,” she said. “It’s been very
hot, and we’re still seeing low oxygen levels.”
She said the Neuse is a nutrient sensitive river with development,
wastewater systems, animal operations and fertilizers used on lawns
contributing to its problems.
“It’s under a lot of pressure,” she said.
She advised residents not to swim in areas of dead fish because of
bacteria that can be produced from the fish.
Ken Buday can be reached at 635-5670 or at kbuday@….
Fish kill reports
To report a fish kill, call the Neuse River Rapid Response Team at 514-4748.
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