Thousands of dead fish wash up on shore in Keansburg

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KEANSBURG, N.J. -- Thousands of small dead fish are washing up on a Keansburg shore in New Jersey Tuesday afternoon.

The suspected cause of death is low dissolved oxygen levels in the stagnant waters of Waackaack Creek and Thornes Creek along the Raritan Bayshore, said Bob Considine, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection.

The fish, called peanut bunker, were likely fleeing from larger predators when they ended up in the stagnant waters.

“This is primarily a natural phenomenon, but it is exacerbated by polluted runoff, including fertilizers from lawns, which is why preserving stream corridors and buffers is important,” said Greg Remaud, Deputy Director, NY/NJ Baykeeper.

Officials say response teams have been on the scene since Saturday when the NY/NJ Baykeeper officer begin getting alerts from local residents concerned over the dead fish.

Local government entities are working with response teams on the removal of the fish.