Dozens of dead fish are popping up along the Quinnipiac River leaving some in New Haven questioning if something's wrong with the water.
State officials said there's nothing to worry about. There's nothing toxic, it's just the temperature.
For Mark Weaver, a painter, the view is picturesque, but the smell is putrid.
"The only thing I know was that I could smell it," he said.
That stench fouling up the air along the river comes from the dead fish. At low tide, the menhaden or bunker fish are hard to miss. You can see them floating by, others have washed up on rocks.
While seagulls have made a meal for themselves, Melvin Hayes said he started noticing it a few weeks ago.
"I've been fishing here for 20 years and I've never seen it this bad," he said.
In the water and along the shore at Quinnipiac River Park on Front Street, Channel 3 Eyewitness News spotted dozens of fish.
While some folks are wondering what's going on, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it's perfectly natural, just Mother Nature taking her course.
The weather has something to do with it," said David Caron, of New Haven. "When it gets too warm, they have to go deeper to get oxygen. Maybe it's just too warm for them."
According to the DEEP, that's the problem.
They've seen a record number of menhaden this year, thousands to be exact.
In this case, the fish make their way up the river into shallow, warm water.
The problem is warm water doesn't hold as much oxygen as cold water, so the fish die.
Another factor is that when we get heavy rain, the fish, which are used to salt water, get stressed.
The DEEP said this is the fourth fish kill since June.
"I used to lice on the Connecticut River," Weaver said. "It's common in Cromwell, down by Middletown. Happened every year."
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