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DEM Scientists Look Into Dying Schools Of Fish

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Scientists from the Department of Environmental Management are investigating fish die-offs in the Seekonk River and Pawtuxet Cove.

Scientists from the Department of Environmental Management are investigating fish die-offs in the Seekonk River and Pawtuxet Cove. 

An estimated 6 million menhaden, a type of forage fish, are thriving in Narragansett Bay, making great meals for fish like bluefish and striped bass. But these predators are also chasing these schools of bait fish into coves and other areas with low oxygen levels, according to DEM scientist Christopher Deacutis.

“So we’ve had some fish kills associated with these fish being corralled up into the coves and upper parts of the Narragansett Bay, like the Seekonk River,” he said.

Deacutis said it’s important to monitor these fish kills to understand water quality challenges in the bay as well as how the menhaden population fluctuates from year to year. 

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Menhaden, like the one above, have been thriving in the Narragansett Bay, but may be part of recent fish kills.
Menhaden, like the one above, have been thriving in the Narragansett Bay, but may be part of recent fish kills.