ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands of dead fish were reported Thursday afternoon on the west bank of the Indian River Lagoon about a mile north of the Martin-St. Lucie county line near Indian River Drive and Mockingbird Lane.
Tony DiChristofaro of Stuart, said he saw "thousands and thousands of dead fish coming ashore" about 2 p.m. Thursday as he was walking along the lagoon beach.
DiChristofaro said the dead fish extended along the shoreline for about a mile.
"They were still coming in," he said, "but some of them looked like they'd been there for several hours."
Kevin Baxter, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission lab in St. Petersburg Baxter said samples of the dead fish will be collected Friday.
"At this point we don't know what could be the cause," Baxter said. "We should be able to have the samples analyzed early next week. We won't know more until then."
At high tide early Thursday evening, hundreds of dead fish — all silver mullet, each 4 to 5 inches long — could be seen along the west lagoon shoreline.
The spring south-to-north mullet migration is under way, and many more of the fish were churning up the lagoon water just offshore.
To report dead fish, call the commission's fish kill hotline: 800-636-0511.