DEP: Fish kill in Presque Isle bay ‘natural’
ERIE, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says as many as a million fish have died or are dying in Presque (presk) Isle Bay near Erie, but that it’s a natural occurrence not linked to pollution.
Jim Grazio, a DEP biologist, said the fish “die-off” began a couple weeks ago.
The dead fish are gizzard chad, which are susceptible to cold temperatures. Grazio says warmer than normal temperatures have melted the ice on the bay — where the fish often congregate to get away from the colder air and waters in deeper sections of Lake Erie. But the air is still cold enough to kill the fish once they’re not sheltered by the ice.
Officials say people shouldn’t touch the fish, which Grazio says will be left to “rot and recycle into the environment.”
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