2 Million Fish Reported Dead in Chesapeake Bay

Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011  |  Updated 7:30 AM EDT
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2 Million Fish Reported Dead in Chesapeake Bay

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NORTH BEACH, MD - AUGUST 03: A Blue Heron walks along the rocks as the early morning sun is reflected over the Chesapeake Bay August 3, 2006 in North Beach, Maryland. Temperatures in the Washington, DC area are expected to reach the upper ninties. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Birds dropping dead in parts of the country, and now fish?

Officials said they're investigating a large fish kill in the Chesapeake Bay, but suspect cold weather killed them instead of problems with the water quality.

The Maryland Department of the Environment said an estimated 2 million fish have been reported dead from the Bay Bridge south to Tangier Sound.

The dead fish are mainly adult spot, with some juvenile croakers.

Agency spokeswoman Dawn Stoltzfus said bay water quality appears acceptable and biologists think "cold-water stress" is the likely cause of the fish kill. She said spot are susceptible to colder
water and normally leave the upper bay by now.

Water temperatures plummeted in late December to near-record lows for that time of year, about 36 degrees.

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