NEW YORK (WCMH) — The dead fish could be seen covering an entire bay.
Video shows thousands, maybe millions, of bunker fish covering the water like ice.
“You could’ve walked across the water. It was covered with fish,” Hampton Bays resident Matin West told News 12 Long Island.
Officials believe the bunker fish were being chased by a large school of blue fish, but were unable to escape because the canal’s locks were closed. “And with the sheer number of fish in here, it just sucks the oxygen out of the water and they suffocate,” Chris Paparo with Stony Brook Marine Science Center said.
When the locks were finally opened, it was too late. Most of the fish had died.
According to News 12 Long Island, several fisherman have scooped up a majority of the fish and plan on selling them as bait to lobstermen up in Maine.