Harmful algae could be responsible for large fish kills

Harmful algae could be responsible for large fish kills

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Fish are dying at an alarming rate around the Indian River Lagoon, and residents and Florida Fish and Wildlife officials want to know why.
 
Two dozen fish kills were called into FWC and officials said fish are dying by the hundreds in some areas.
 
"They're sheepshead and they're catfish and striped bass. Oh, my God, this is terrible and this is the worst I've ever seen and I've been here since 1970," resident Leon Stennes said.
 
Fish kills were reported in locations from Titusville to Melbourne, and the county said it might have to do with a drop in oxygen in the water.
 
"With the north wind blowing, it's pushing more of them up on the shoreline. So it's not going to get any better. It's going to get worse," resident Jeff Queen said.
 
The Indian River Lagoon has been plagued by brown algae blooms in recent weeks. The county said as the algae decomposes it could be robbing the water of oxygen.
 
"I've lived here all my life and I haven't seen it this bad ever," Queen said.

State biologists are collecting water samples from Port St. John, Pine Island, Cocoa Beach and Titusville.

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