Irene Causes Thousands Of Fish To Die In NC Rivers

Wildlife officials say the tens of thousands of fish dying in North Carolina rivers are just a sign of more fish kills to come after Hurricane Irene.

The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., reported that thousands of dead fish have been seen floating in the Roanoke, Tar and Neuse rivers. Minor and spotty fish kills are occurring in the Scuppernong, Chowan, Perquimans and other rives.

Chad Thomas of the state Wildlife Resources Commission says that hundreds of thousand of fish will die over the next week as oxygen levels fall.

A big storm washes organic material such as leaves and limbs into the rivers, sucking up oxygen as they decompose. Similar fish kills happened after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Isabel in 2003.


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  • by Anonymous Location: Williamston nc on Sep 8, 2011 at 06:24 PM
    Someone needs to come test the water in Roanoke. There is no way leaves and heavy rain messed the river up like that. Why does it just start near Williamston? The river is fine at Hamilton. They got the same storm. The problem is in between the 2 towns only 13 miles apart.
  • by bob on Sep 7, 2011 at 06:18 AM
    Saw the tv spot, still cant understand how those dead shrimp lost there heads. or could they have been old bait that someone used to go fishing with,and took the heads off. Whenever i watch the news i have to pick out what i realy beleave is the whole story.I know theres dead fish out there but try not to make it more than what it is by seting a picture up useing bait.
  • by Anonymous Location: Williamston nc on Sep 6, 2011 at 01:36 AM
    The smell real bad from Roanoke here, and it's getting worst every day. I saw more dead fish yesterday than any other day sense the storm.
  • by US-First Location: Greenville on Sep 5, 2011 at 07:31 AM
    Hurricane Irene may have been the cause of all the rain but the polluted / organic runoff is the cause of the fish kills. It is a reminder of how temporary our containment solutions are near vital lakes, rivers and wetlands. I am sure the rivers will recover to some level of acceptability it is just a bit troubling.
    • reply
      by anon12 on Sep 5, 2011 at 10:30 AM in reply to US-First
      We went by Contentnea Creek yesterday---we smelled extremely strong raw sewage/methane, NOT decaying leaves, dead fish, etc. Makes me wonder.
  • by Jan Location: Albemarle Sound on Sep 5, 2011 at 06:37 AM
    This morning we awoke to hundreds of seagulls feasting on thousands of dying fish in the Albemarle Sound...everything from catfish to flounder...this fish kill is much worse here than the ones we've had after other hurricanes. Truly unbelievable sight to see them all gasping for air at the surface. So sad.
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