Thousands of Dead Fish Clog NY Canal

New York's Shinnecock Canal the site of a grisly display for commuters.


Shinnecock Canal, in Hampton Bays, N.Y., was the scene of a gruesome and pungent display yesterday, as morning commuters discovered the channel clogged with thousands of dead bunker fish.

According to experts who spoke with CBS2, the bunker fish – silver-hued, 15-inch-long members of the herring family that move in large schools – were probably chased into the canal by schools of their chief predator: bluefish. The fleeing bunker fish became trapped in the canal once the locks closed overnight.

"And with the sheer number of fish in here, it just sucks the oxygen out of the water and they suffocate," marine expert Chris Paparo told Long Island's News12.

Just shy of 1 mile long, Shinnecock Canal connects Great Peconic Bay to the north with Shinnecock Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean, to the south.

When the locks were re-opened, the few bunker fish still alive escaped while the many dead ones were carried back out to sea.

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