Thousands of dead fish appear in Long Island canal

HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. — Thousands of dead fish were found Monday morning in a Southampton canal after they couldn't get enough oxygen in the shallow body of water.

Fishermen and passersby near the Shinnecock Canal in Long Island noticed what one person called a "sheet of fish" and alerted authorities Monday morning.

State police and officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation were on scene investigating, according to multiple news outlets.

The deaths of these bunker fish — in what's known as a fish kill — was likely caused when they were chased by larger predators into the the small Hampton Bays canal, a confined space where there isn't enough oxygen to go around.

Thousands of dead fish were found in a Long Island canal Monday morning. (Twitter/@JustineAiko)

Thousands of dead fish were found in a Long Island canal Monday morning. (Twitter/@JustineAiko)

Scientists told PIX11 News they don't think the fish kill was caused by chemical pollution, but officials will have to clean up the canal before the smell of dead fish spreads.

A similar incident happened in June 2015 on Long Island, when low oxygen levels caused a massive die-off in Riverhead, and again in September in Centerport.