MIAMI (WSVN) - Thousands of dead fish have appeared in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, alarming residents in the area.

The dead fish could be seen in the water from as far south as the Julia Tuttle Causeway to as far north as the 79th Street Bridge on Tuesday.

“It was a river of dead fish, and then, last night, there were islands of dead fish,” said resident Kathryn Mikesell, who usually swims in the bay.

Witnesses called authorities to report they saw thousands of dead fish, including snapper, needlefish, pufferfish, sea trout and crabs. Nearby residents said the smell is overwhelming.

“I knew something died, I didn’t know where it was,” said resident Frances Jackson. “I didn’t realize it was the fish, but yeah, you can smell it all over the neighborhood.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said the situation is most likely natural, and they have no reason to believe it is related to any human activity.

The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute will be working with Miami River keepers and city employees to collect water samples.

The results are expected to return later in the week, which will help determine what could be causing the abundance of dead fish in the area.

Theo Quenee and Mike Holston frequently paddle board throughout the bay, and they are beyond disturbed.

“Gonna take a good shower after this for sure,” Quenee said.

“It’s like kids that watch Nemo growing up,” Holston said. “They want to see Nemo swimming around. They don’t want to see Nemo floating.”

Fish kills can be caused by a lack of oxygen due to warm water.

Some residents said the fish kill is another sign that South Florida’s waterways need to be protected.

“Yes, there are many natural things about it, but also, the water is getting warmer because the climate is getting warmer, which has a whole host of unnatural reasons leading to that,” Mikesell said.

FWC urges any individual who sees the dead fish along the bay to call their Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511.

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