DEEP investigating what caused fish to die in Naugatuck River - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DEEP investigating what caused fish to die in Naugatuck River

Posted: Updated:
Dozens of dead fish were found in the Naugatuck River (WFSB) Dozens of dead fish were found in the Naugatuck River (WFSB)
NAUGATUCK, CT (WFSB) -

Dozens of dead fish were found floating in the Naugatuck River, and now the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is trying to figure out what caused this.

The first thing you notice when you walk across this footbridge over the Naugatuck River and you notice the smell, it hits you right away, and when you look at the water, it doesn't take long for you to notice the fish.

"It’s sort of like a sewer smell, something like that. It does get in the building, you can smell it right now if you pay attention,” said Ed Healy, of the Polish American Club.

From the back deck of Naugatuck’s Polish American Club, Healy said members spotted dozens of dead fish on Wednesday.

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, more than 50 white suckers turned up dead, and since that certain species of fish is the only one affected, what caused the fish kill has staffers stumped.

That’s why DEEP is looking to see if a toxic substance got into the water.

Out for a walk along the river, Joe Ariola says he often spots fish in the river, but this is a first.

"We see some half that size, last week saw them, never saw them floating like that though,” he said.

It’s not just up river, downstream past Maple Street, there were more fish floating in the water, others perched on rocks.

Large fish kills typically happen in lakes or ponds when snow or ice block sunlight, preventing plants in the water from producing oxygen.

But Fisheries and Wildlife say there are events that can cause freshwater fish to die off in numbers too.

Sometimes its natural, like the stress of spawning, or after a long cold winter, but that’s not the case here.

The Fish and Wildlife Division is asking if anyone saw anything peculiar or have any information, to give them a call.  

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.