Thousands of dead fish in Florida – 09/28/2005

  • November 22, 2013 at 2:32 am #1033

    Thousands Of Dead Fish Line Brevard River

    POSTED: 12:11 pm EDT September 27, 2005
    UPDATED: 2:01 pm EDT September 27, 2005

    State wildlife officials are searching for what killed thousands of hardhead catfish in a Brevard County, Fla., lagoon.

    The rotting fish were discovered at Rotary Park in Suntree and can be smelled by motorists along U.S. 1.

    “I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t smell very good,” Marty Smith of Melbourne told Local 6 News partner Florida Today.

    State wildlife biologists gathered fish samples to send to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

    “We’re not going to know about what’s causing the kill until we get samples in,” biologist Loanna Torrance said.

    An official identified the dead fish as hardhead catfish, the same species that washed up in the area on Sept. 22 and 23.

    In the summer of 1996, thousands of hardheads floated up dead in the lagoon. Biologists never identified the exact cause, but suspected a virus that killed only hardheads.

    Hardhead catfish make up 3 percent of the fish in the lagoon, according to environmental surveys, but some scientists estimate as many as one in five fish in the estuary could be a hardhead.

    Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

    Copyright 2005 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and All rights reserved.

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