Islanders may have noticed dead fish washing up on beaches but it isn't anything to be alarmed about.

Parks Canada says the dead gaspereau that have been showing up this spring died from natural causes.

Brad Romaniuk, the Resource Conservation Manager with Parks Canada on P.E.I., said several calls from the public have come in this year reporting anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred dead fish.

He said it's a common occurrence at this time of year, when the fish return to the ocean after spawning in freshwater streams.

bald eagle

Brad Romaniuk, the Resource Conservation Manager with Parks Canada on P.E.I., says that the dead fish become a food source for animals in the area like the bald eagle flying here. (Submitted by Molly Pendergast)

"You know they're at the end of their life-cycle to begin with after they've spawned," he said. 

"Once they leave the freshwater and enter back into the saltwater environment, many times some of them will die mostly because of the sudden change in water temperature."

'Circle of events'

Romaniuk said that Parks Canada has received more reports than last year.

He said that it could be because more people are out on the beaches, or that the temperature difference between the ocean and freshwater streams is greater than years past.

He added that the dead fish become a food source for animals in the area, such as nesting bald eagles.

"It's that sort of the circle of events that the gaspereau goes through."

With files from CBC: Island Morning