KENT ISLAND, Md. (WJZ) — It’s a disturbing sight: thousands of dead fish washing up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
Mike Schuh explains it’s a real mess on Kent Island.
More arrive with every wave and there’s a line in the sand of dead fish, a scene that continues as far as the eye can see.
“Approximately two million juvenile spot fish,” said Dawn Stolzfuz, MDE spokesperson. “We have also seen a few croakers, but it’s mainly spot.”
Watermen noticed them a few days ago.
“Solid, all the way across–just thousands of them,” said one.
He’s never seen anything like them in the winter.
“We believe it’s caused by the really rapid drop in temperatures for a fish that we know is very susceptible,” Stolzfuz said.
The surface temperature in the bay is the coldest it’s been in 25 years. Most adult spot and croaker have already gone south to warmer water; only the juveniles remained.
“We don’t have indications right now that water quality or pollution played a part,” said Stolzfuz.
The fish that are dead are bait fish. There are hopes, though, that there are enough left to keep those that eat them, healthy.
With the cold temperatures, there is no smell.
DNR can’t say if any more fish will die as part of this problem.