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CHALMETTE, La. -- Thousands of dead fish have been found floating at the mouth of a shipping channel that connects the Port of New Orleans with the Gulf of Mexico.

St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro says the fish kill was found Sunday afternoon at the mouth of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, or MRGO. He says between 5,000 and 15,000 dead fish were found, collected in pockets of boom that was deployed in the area to block oil from the spill from the Deepwater Horizon rig.

Taffaro said Monday that the species found dead included crabs, sting rays, eel, drum, speckled trout and red fish.

There's no word on what caused the kill. Taffaro says they believe there's some recoverable oil in the area but can't specifically link it to that because there's also been some depleted oxygen issues in the area as well.

The state Wildlife and Fisheries' marine division is sampling the water in hopes of finding a cause.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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