RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN)– The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources continues to monitor a fish kill in the Neuse River, located in an area that includes New Bern near Union Point and Bridgeton, downstream to Riverdale.

NCDEQ said fish kills, the sudden death of large numbers of fish, usually in a restricted area, are common and can occur in the summertime, particularly under the conditions present this summer. They said there has been no indication of a chemical or toxin component in conjunction with the fish kill. Still, they ask residents to avoid water where a fish kill is present.

The state says menhaden is the predominant species affected in this fish kill. DEQ is also monitoring the area for algal blooms seen in the area.

According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, if you see a fish kill with more than a few fish or shellfish dead, dying, acting erratically or have sores, you should:

  • Stay away from these waters while those conditions exist.
  • Do not eat, use or collect any fish, crabs, other animals or items from these waters.
  • Do not let pets swim in or eat fish from these waters.

If you come in contact with the water where fish or shellfish are dead, dying, appear sick, or have sores:

  • Remove wet clothing and keep separate from other items until it has been washed.
  • Wash any body part (except the eyes) that comes into contact with the waters, using soap and clean water. Rinse eyes with lots of clear, clean water.
  • Use waterproof gloves when handling pets and items that have come into contact with the waters.
  • See your doctor or health provider if you experience any symptoms (e.g., confusion, vomiting, diarrhea) that might be caused by exposure to these waters.