Marine Resources Investigates Reports of Dead Fish

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Division in Gulf Shores has responded to several reports of dead fish on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, especially in the Point Clear area. Recently, callers have reported finding large red drum dead on the shoreline, although the fish specimens exhibit no apparent lesions or markings. Smaller red drum and other species of fish – mullet, flounder, catfish and smaller species – have been reported with lesions.

Water samples have been taken from the area and will be processed by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Several fish collected during this incident have been collected and sent to Auburn University for testing.

Marine Resources Director Vernon Minton said additional testing will likely be necessary and recommends that any angler who encounters a fish that is in distress or has lesions should contact Marine Resources immediately so the sample can be collected. Minton suggests the fish be kept alive in the livewell if possible or be placed on clean ice away from the remainder of the catch to avoid contamination.

Anglers should wash their hands after handling fish with lesions, and it is recommended that those fish not be eaten.  For questions, to report a fish kill, or for pickup of fish specimens, call Marine Resources at 251-968-7576.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.