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Hot water temps, pollution led to fish kills on the Neuse River

A beach along the Neuse River is covered in juvenile menhaden.
Sound Rivers
A beach along the Neuse River is covered in juvenile menhaden.

Several reports of fish kills on the lower Neuse River in recent weeks are being attributed to abnormally hot water temperatures and nutrient pollution.

Sound Rivers officials said many people reported dead fish on the shores of the Neuse River near New Bern and Bridgeton.

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality staff confirmed that the river was experiencing hypoxia (low to no oxygen levels) and algal blooms, which can dramatically decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water necessary for aquatic life.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop said fish kills are an important warning sign that there are water-quality concerns below the surface.

She also said people should avoid swimming in water where a fish kill is evident.

Fish kills can be reported on the Sound Rivers website.