August 17, 2008

Several Hundred Fish Found Dead Near Bullocks Cove, East Providence

A few hundred dead menhaden were discovered near Bullocks Cove in East Providence Thursday by one of several teams sampling upper Narragansett Bay in what are believed to be worst-case conditions: high temperatures, low oxygen and neap, or weak tides.

John Torgan, Save the Bay's Baykeeper, said he considered it a relatively small fish kill.

No one reported the fish kill to the state Department of Environmental Management, according to spokeswoman Gail Mastrati and there was no word as to whether it was related to a sewage overflow nearby about a week ago.

Torgan said he believed conditions in the Bay will improve as temperatures cool and tidal flushing increases.

"We expected bad conditions and we found them," Torgan said. Much of the upper Bay had oxygen conditions so low the water would not support marine life.

"It's not a huge cause for alarm," said Torgan. "But it does underscore the problems that we have out there."

The water-sampling program has been done since 1999 by a team from Brown University, the state Department of Environmental Management and Save the Bay. For more information and for data on oxygen conditions, go to: index.html

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