Larry Baldwin "Neuse River Fish Kill Is Over"

The fish kill has ended -- it's the word from Lower Neuse Riverkeeper Larry Baldwin.

Baldwin says millions of Menhaden were killed over the past few months and that an exact cause isn't known. He says recent runs out on the river show the fish kill is over, but that staff will continue to monitor the waters for futher activity. Baldwin says he's sent a public information request to numerous state agencies to get monitoring and sampling data along with water quality documents that date back to June of this year.

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Fish are still dying in the Neuse River.

Lower Neuse Riverkeeper Larry Baldwin says, the Menhaden fish aren't dying as rapidly, but that the sizes of the dead fish are getting larger in the 5 to 6 inch range.

His last number of dead fish was in the 50 million range.

Baldwin surveyed the river Wednesday and says along with the dead fish, seagulls are gathering in large numbers near the edge of the river. Baldwin says the primary reason for the fish kill is due to lack of oxygen in the river.

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Experts say millions of fish found dead in the Neuse River in eastern North Carolina probably suffocated.

Multiple media outlets reported more than 2 million fish have died in the river in the past week. Test results are expected next week. But experts say it appears low-oxygen saltwater along the river bottom mixed with the upper layers of fresh water.

Scientists at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Science in Morehead City have been measuring oxygen levels along the bottom of the river. Professor Hans Paerl says conditions were "ripe for a fish kill." He says high winds and recent storms helped stir the water.

Paerl says tests have found no conditions other than low oxygen that could have killed the fish, mostly Atlantic menhaden.


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