GRAND ISLE, La. -- Residents woke up to hundreds of thousands of dead fish washing up on the beach Tuesday morning, just days before Memorial Day weekend.

"Thousands and thousands, they go as far as you can see," said Bill Long, describing the scene he saw on the beach.

Long has been coming to Grand Isle since 1968 and said he has never seen, or smelled, anything like this.

"Smelled them for the first time this morning, probably ten o'clock or so," he explained.

Grand Isle Mayor David Carmedale explained that torn commercial fishing net dumped hundreds of thousands of fish into the Gulf. Their lifeless bodies washed up covering nearly four and a half miles of beach.

"On the drive in I could smell tons of dead fish the whole way," said Sophie Kerl. She and her friends drove in from New Orleans expecting a relaxing camping trip on the beach. "Then we got on the beach and here were just piles and piles of dead fish everywhere."

Residents are worried about the beach with Memorial Day weekend right around the corner.

"There will usually be a lot of folks down here and this is really going to be a huge issue for everybody," said Long.

Carmadale said that Daybrook, the company that owns the fishing vessels, has hired a contractor for the cleanup. This way Long and his two grandsons don't have to spend the weekend stepping over mounds of dead fish

"The beaches are going to be very clean and we're going to make sure that the families have a great time on our beaches," Carmadale said.