Dead_fishA dead fish seen in the Navesink off Maple Avenue earlier this summer.

Today’s Press reports a trio of local fish kills, including one on the Navesink River between Maple Avenue and Riverside Gardens Park.

From the report:

About 50 to 70 dead adult menhaden, or bunker fish, were found dead in the Navesink River, another 40 at Parker’s Creek Wednesday and about 40 fish at Branchport Creek in Oceanport on Tuesday, said William Simmons, environmental health coordinator for the Monmouth County Health Department.

So far, health officials are saying there is no sign of disease in the fish, and they’ve taken water samples from the river, Simmons said.

“Dissolved oxygen is up and indicates the beginning of an algae bloom, but it’s a low, not a heavy, algae bloom, and we’re not seeing a low dissolved oxygen level,” Simmons said. “The chlorophyll level is rising, so the algae is reacting to the sun.”

Algae can cause fish kills by depleting oxygen and nutrients in the river when they bloom and then die. Results of algae tests will be known Thursday, he said.

In mid-April, bacteria killed thousands of menhaden in Raritan Bay and the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers over several weeks. The bacterium responsible for the kill, Vibrio ordalii, is natural in the environment and in fish guts and does not pose a threat to human health, officials said.

Simons tells the Press that authorities don’t know if Vibrio is the culprit this time, and that “there is nothing out of the ordinary” with the water quality.

Separately, boaters and jet skiers have told redbankgreen of hundreds of dead menhaden in the vicinity of the visiting dolphins, which have been feasting on schools just west of the Oceanic Bridge since July 7. Many of the dead fish appear to have been bitten by the dolphins, we’re told.

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