navesink fish 051415 1Dead fish at the Navesink River Rowing facility in Red Bank Thursday morning. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03A fish kill in the Navesink River in recent weeks is a result of natural phenomenon, according to the Asbury Park Press.

The newspaper reports that the state Department of Environmental Protection attributes the die-off of hundreds of bunker to a lack of oxygen in shallow water as they’re driven upriver by bluefish.

The Press article, published late Wednesday night, quotes Steve Remaley, owner of the Red Bank Marina, on West Front Street at Hubbards Bridge:

“The fish can only go so far, there’s only so much oxygen in the water,” Remaley said. “You see them (swimming) in circles like that in the water and then they die.”

DEP spokeswoman Caryn Shinske Shinske agreed:

“Basically, we suspect what is going on is that predatory fish, such as Blue Fish, have pushed (Atlantic) menhaden, or bunkers, into shallow areas and they’re running out of oxygen. It’s a natural phenomenon,” Shinske said.

Shinske told the Press that the DEP is monitoring the situation and performing water tests as a precaution.