What's Killing Thousands of Fish in NJ River?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014  |  Updated 5:55 AM EDT
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It is unknown what is killing thousands of bunker fish in Monmouth County.

NBC10.com

It is unknown what is killing thousands of bunker fish in Monmouth County.

New Jersey authorities are trying to determine what's causing a massive fish kill in the Shark River.

Monmouth County's health department received a report at 5:30 a.m., Monday. Officials say thousands of fish have died, but a total count has not been completed.

“This is highly unusual,” Mayor Matt Doherty told the Asbury Park Press. “It’s alarming, but we want to wait until we get the full test results to really look at what caused this.”

Public health coordinator Michael Meddis tells the Press moss bunker appears to be the affected species and the fish kill is mainly taking place in the boat basin in Belmar.

Meddis says bunker reproduce in large numbers and typically use a lot of oxygen.

State environmental officials tell the newspaper that preliminary test results showed acceptable oxygen levels and almost no algae in the water. They say "slightly low oxygen levels" likely resulted in a fish kill.

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