Thousands of dead fish wash ashore

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WMAR) - The Department of the Environment now says tens of thousands of dead fish have washed ashore in Anne Arundel County.

It started Monday.  At least 6,000 dead fish were found at Marley Creek.  More dead fish were found at the City Dock and at the neck of Marley Creek above Furnace Creek.

Officials say they found between 6 and 12 different species of fish in the fish kills. The fish that were found at the City Dock were contained to the area and are believed to have been pushed in from the Severn River.

MDE officials have been watching algae blooms since March and say that it is likely that one of the blooms caused the fish kill.

The algae bloom does not produce a toxin, but because of its large size can cause a high biological oxygen demand when the bloom dies, resulting in oxygen depletion. The cause of the fish kill was low dissolved oxygen induced by the large bloom of non-toxic algae.

There is no human health concern for this species of algae. MDE advises residents not to swim with dead fish and to use caution when handling them, due to possible bacterial contamination associated with decomposition of the dead fish.

While algae blooms are affected by natural conditions such as hot temperatures and heavy rains, they are also a symptom of an impaired Chesapeake Bay and waterways and a reminder of the importance of reducing nitrogen pollution from all sources: storm water runoff, septic systems, agriculture, air emissions, and wastewater.

To report a fish kill please call the Hotline 1-877-224-7229.

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