HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – The Division of Fish and Wildlife are investigating what caused dozens of fish to die in a Hackettstown stream.
A conservation officer from the Division of Fish and Wildlife responded to the stream late Saturday, located between West Stiger St and West Prospect St, after a report from a resident, said the spokesperson for Division of Fish and Wildlife Larry Hajna.
The officer observed between 50 to 100 silverside minnows and a white sucker fish in a localized section of the stream. Other fish were swimming around fine and did not show any signs of distress, Hajna said.
“There were no signs of any kind of pollutant discharge,” Hajna said.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife went out again on Sunday in better daylight and did not see any additional dead fish, Hajna said.
“The area where the fish were found was beneath a walnut tree and it’s possible natural toxins in the walnuts killed the fish but its hard to say for certain,” Hajna said.
The agency was not able to retrieve any samples that were fresh enough to do a tissue analysis, Hajna said.
“Disease less likely due to the localized nature, but can’t be ruled out,” Hajna said.
“It’s never a good idea to handle any dead animal or to let your pet pick them up as they are likely to contain bacteria and other nasty things as they decompose,” Hajna said.
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(Jay Edwards | For WRNJ)