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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thousands upon thousands of dead Menhaden started showing up on Wrightsville Beach yesterday. So far no explanation as to why they are dead but lots of theories being floated around. Some say they were caught in a tidal wash, others think a large fish or school of large fish chased them there, one guy suggested it was the sudden change in water temp, others blame it on the Navy.

I sure hope it was a one time thing as we really need those fish on our coast to attract game fish - I was/am very hopeful the Stripers will show up down here this year (well they have but not in huge numbers yet).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's the newspaper article:

StarNewsOnLine
December 19, 2005

Experts unsure of cause of massive menhaden kill

Rich Carpenter said a similar incident had happened near Topsail Beach in the early 1980s.

By Majsan Boström
Staff Writer

Hundreds of thousands of dead menhaden fish littered Wrightsville Beach on Sunday, leaving residents wondering if there had been a spill of some sort to kill the small, silver-colored bait fish.

"It’s just really bizarre," said Dean Grey, 34, who has lived in the Wilmington area and surfed at Wrightsville Beach all his life. "I’ve never seen anything like this."

Grey hunched down to get a closer look at the stiff fishes, which covered the entire beach strip from Mason to Masonboro inlets, shaking his head.

"What we’re looking at is environmentally related as well as fishing-related causes," said Rich Carpenter, district manager of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. "But we have nothing to indicate that this has to do with an oil spill at all. The fish appeared to be in relatively good shape. In some cases of spills, fish may have sores on them; that was not the case here."

Carpenter said it was likely that the large school of menhaden had been confined in a small creek in the sound, gotten trapped as the tide went out, died and washed up on the beach.

"It’s unusual, but I’ve seen it happen before," Carpenter said.

He said a similar incident had happened near Topsail Beach in the early 1980s.

Members of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources collected water and fish samples, which will be tested in a lab in Raleigh today, Carpenter said.

"We’re testing to make sure there’s not something else that caused this," he said.

http://www.starnewsonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage
 

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I hope the trout got plenty of them before they died. It sure seems like a lot of menhaden which we can not afford to lose. Spiny dogfish, skates and rays should be taking care of a few but I can't imagine how many died that you can't see. I really hope this don't have anything to do with Naval Sonar. That 500 sq. mile test site is located off Onslow Bay ...AL
 
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