Massive Fish Kill Hits Mississippi River Near Oil Spill [VIDEO


]Updated: 7 minutes ago
David Knowles

AOL News Surge Desk (Sept. 14) -- The river looked like a road paved with dead fish.

Local residents spotted hundreds of thousands of dead fish floating atop the Mississippi River late Friday evening near Bayou Chaland in Plaquemines Parish, La., just north of the Gulf of Mexico, a spot that has been affected by the BP oil spill, the Times Picayune reported.

Local authorities have asked the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help investigate the cause of the fish kill, which included several different fish species, as well as crabs, shrimp, freshwater eel and a dead dolphin.

As Surge Desk reported earlier this month, fish kills can be caused by hypoxia, or low levels of oxygen in water, and the northern Gulf of Mexico is known as the largest so-called "dead zone" in the United States. Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser said in a press release that testing will be required to determine whether hypoxia is the cause of the latest mass die-off.

"We can't continue to see these fish kills," Nungesser said. "We need some additional tests to find out why these fish are dying in large numbers. If it is low oxygen, we need to identify the cause."

Prior studies have implicated pollution, fertilizer runoff and climate change in cases of hypoxia.

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