DEQ: Dead fish in Biloxi came from broken pogey net

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If you saw tens of thousands of dead fish floating in Biloxi waters Tuesday, the deaths are not related to the oil spill.

Phone calls began coming into WLOX Tuesday afternoon from people who'd been at Beau Rivage reporting hundreds of dead fish floating in the water and washing up along the boom south of the casino resort. Witnesses said the smell was terrible.

Officials from the Department of Environmental Quality said a company that catches the small, silver Menhaden, or pogey fish, lost its catch when a net was torn.

The dead fish were floating Tuesday night near the shore at the Biloxi Lighthouse on Porter Avenue, all the way to the waters behind the Hard Rock and Beau Rivage casinos.

The fish are a little larger than the pogeys typically wash ashore. But experts say that's because they've had time to grow larger during the recent fishing ban.

Sand beach department crews did some clean up near the lighthouse, but the company that owns the boat are sending skimmers to pick up the dead fish from the water.

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