Atlantic Menhaden Fish Kill Under Investigation In Canton

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Hundreds of dead fish are floating to the surface in the Inner Harbor and Patapsco River. Right now, it’s a mystery what’s causing it. It’s the first fish kill of the season.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the impact it’s having.

Investigators with the Department of the Environment are now testing the water to figure out what killed hundreds of fish.

From Fort McHenry to Fells Point and in Canton out to the Patapsco River, up to 1,000 dead fish have floated to the surface of the water.

“Every year about this time, there seems to be a problem with the fish, unfortunately,” said Canton resident Mary Hein.

State officials are testing the water to try and figure out what’s causing the fish to die.

“We, at this point, do not think it’s a result of a sewage spill or any type of big pollution overrun. It most likely is a natural process but we just don’t know,” said Halle Van der Gaag of Blue Water Baltimore.

She says problems like this have a far-reaching impact.

“If you eat and fish down below or pull your crabs out from the Chesapeake Bay, what kind of pollution you’re seeing in Baltimore does make its way south,” she said.

Fish kills can also have a big impact on business.

At Nick’s Fish House, outdoor dining on the water makes up the bulk of their business. Workers hope the dead fish stay away.

“It scares me. I don’t want it coming down here because then it will prevent business from coming here,” said worker Nick Shagouris.

The restaurant has put floating barriers in the water to try and keep dead fish and garbage out.

The results from the water samples are expected to come back in the next week or so. The bulk of the fish being found dead are Atlantic menhaden.

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