Local News

Millions more fish die in Neuse River

Posted September 17, 2009

— The total number of fish found dead along or near the Neuse River doubled after state officials counted 6.5 million dead fish on Tuesday and Wednesday.

State Division of Water Quality spokeswoman Susan Massengale said that approximately 12.3 million dead juvenile Atlantic menhaden fish have been found since the last week of August.

This week, 650,000 fish were found in Northwest Creek and Fairfield Harbor, which are somewhat separated from the Neuse, Massengale said. The rest were found in the Neuse, between New Bern and Carolina Pines.

Large, dense schools of live menhaden were seen the length of the kill. Massengale said that staff reported that fish near New Bern appeared lethargic, while schools further downstream appeared to be more active and healthier.

So far, Massengale said, testing indicates the fish died when low-oxygen saltwater along the river bottom mixed with the upper layers of fresh water. Environmental officials are also testing samples from an algae bloom.

None of the dead fish have had lesions.

Earlier, dead fish were found along 10 miles of the Neuse's southern shore between Black Beacon Point and Carolina Pines in Craven County.


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  • clickhere Sep 17, 2009

    In addition, I'd love to see what news agency can do in comparing fish kills of menhaden in NC and in NJ. Just from memory, seems like there were a bunch of fish kills in New Jersey during the 60's and 70's due to Chemical Companies dumping waste in local rivers (Toms River Chemical, Ciba Geigy (now Novartis)). Is there something of similarity here?

  • clickhere Sep 17, 2009

    this is very interesting. A Pulitzer Prize series at the N&O 10+ years ago ruined my minor hog leasing business, only to prove that it wasn't Hog operations polluting the rivers, but cities letting raw sewage into our State rivers. So, what is this? Oh, if you talk to the Water quality board, it's the darn farmers. But in reality, it's our State Government allowing municipalities to dump raw sewage into our rivers. Where is the mystery?

  • edits Sep 17, 2009

    Do they really count all those fish?

  • time4real Sep 17, 2009

    well there should be none left because this is the 3rd time a story saying "millions" have died has come up. How many fish do you think is in that river?

  • working for deadbeats Sep 17, 2009

    Don't ya just love our local waterways??!!