“Once you figured out what it was, the smell hit you,” Flavia Scotto of Burlington, N.J. said about the bizarre fish kill.
Believed to be peanut bunker fish -- a bait fish -- each measures about three-inches long and they all appear to be the same species.
“It looked like a foam coming in and then I said, ‘Oh, a few fish,’ then, ‘No! It’s all fish,’” Christine Cummings said about her 7 a.m. walk on the beach Wednesday.
The thousands of stinky corpses washed up over night, as there was no sign of them Tuesday.
“It’s scary,” Cummings said. “We were swimming in this since last week and it was wonderful. Nice and clean.”
The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection has launched an investigation into the kill. Officials say initial water tests show no sign of toxic phytoplankton like red tide. They are still measuring oxygen levels.
While the DEP investigates, area residents and renters wait to see what explanation officials will have for them. But until then, they must hold their noses.