Scientists say fish kill expected on Gulf Coast for a few more days

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 8:55 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

BILOXI, Miss -- Stingrays, fish, shrimp, eels and crabs, all dead, were spread along beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Tuesday. Officials say it's the second day of a fish kill for the record books.

"According to people at the MDMR, that have been working there for a long time, this extent, stretching as far as it did from the Beau Rivage all the way down to long beach, so from Biloxi to Long Beach, was a large area, and they just haven't seen that large of an area in the past," said Kelly Lucas, chief scientific officer for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

A family from Texas, with Mississippi family ties, described the scene yesterday as biblical.

"Last night, we went out at low tide and there was just massive amounts of dead fish and stingrays and shrimp, shrimp 7 to 8 inches long. Never seen anything like that before," said Alicia Aldridge.

"It was a lot. Disturbing," said 18-year-old Kendalyn Aldridge,

While scientists say this is a disturbing fish kill, it's also a common summer occurrence.

"When temperatures seem to get warmer, this happens, and especially bottom-dissolved oxygen, where your crabs and your stingrays and your flounders hang out," Lucas said. "A lot of those areas already will have low oxygen this time of year."

So while some beaches were only for the birds Tuesday because of the fish kill, officials say there are no worries for the holiday.

The Aldridges agree.

"We're gonna go jet ski this afternoon and get past it and go in the water," she said.

Scientists say this fish kill may last a few more days, but has lessened.

This is the first incident of the summer.

 

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