Spring fish kill is natural phenomenon
The fish die as the water warms rapidly
Thousands of fish are washing up dead along the banks of the Rouge River in Detroit, but the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it's nothing to worry about.
DNR fish expert Jim Francis tells the Detroit Free Press the die-off is most likely the result of what biologists call a spring fish kill, a natural phenomenon when "fish survive the winter but die as the water warms rapidly."
The DNR says fish "come through the winter in a weakened condition because they've been eating at a reduced rate. As the water warms, their metabolism increases and they divert much energy to strenuous spawning activities."
Detroit resident Brooke Burns says the rancid, silvery-green fish stink and are attracting seagulls. She says, "It's been like this for a week or two."