Officials are scrambling to avoid a major fish kill in the Peconic Estuary due to exceptionally low oxygen levels in the water. “We’re asking for help from anyone with a haul siene net and permit to get the baitfish out of the water before there’s a major fish kill like we had here several years ago,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said this afternoon. “If you’ve got the net and the permit, please call Riverhead Police to let us know,” he said.

“Please call 631-727-4500 to let police know you can help.”The town will pay fishermen an as-yet undetermined amount per pound to make the effort economically viable, Walter said, because the market price for baitfish is very low. “This is an emergency, because if we don’t get the fish out of the water right away, while they’re alive, we’re going to have a major die-off,” the supervisor said. “Disposing of massive quantities of dead fish is a huge problem, as town officials learned several years ago,” he said. “We want to do whatever we can to avoid that problem again. We need to get them out of the water immediately — like yesterday.” FULL REPORT