BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland Department of the Environment is investigating a fish kill in waterways in eastern Baltimore County, including the Gunpowder and Bird Rivers.

Authorities say the investigation began last week after dead fish were first seen. Jay Apperson with the Department of the Environment says a department investigator went to the sites where the reports were made and saw fish that continue to show signs of stress.

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At this time, the Department of Natural resources estimates that 6,000 fish have died. At least nine species of fish been affected, including yellow perch, largemouth bass, bluegill sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, carp, black crappie, gizzard shad, spottail shiner and channel catfish.

However, the DNR says that their investigation shows no signs of pollution as a potential cause. Their preliminary investigation results show toxins produced by algae to the be the likely cause. The investigation is ongoing.

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The DNR says that residents are advised to avoid the dead fish or, if they need to be handled or disposed of, those who touch the fish wash hands afterward.

Anyone with information on fish kills or with other concerns on environmental matters involving the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries can call the Bay environmental hotline at 877-224-7229.

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