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Unusual Number Of Fish Found Dead In Chesapeake Bay

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Maryland's Department of the Environment is reporting an unusually large fishkill in the Chesapeake Bay.

Dawn Stoltzfus, a spokesperson for the Department, says as many as 2 million fish are turning up dead in the Bay. She says they're mostly juvenile spot fish -- 4 to 6 inches long -- and right now investigators think they're dying because of cold water stress.

The water temperatures in the bay were very cold in December and the drop in temperature was also very quick.

Young spot fish do not handle cold water well, and Stoltzfus says there were more of them than usual this year, which also may have meant more competition for resources.

While this kind of fishkill is rare, it's not unheard of. Stoltzfus says 15 million spot died of winter stress in 1976.

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