POSTED: Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 4:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — When you go to the beach you don't expect to find hundreds of dead fish covering the shore.
Pat Hawkins was heading out to the beach on Pawleys Island, South Carolina Tuesday morning to enjoy the weather, but when she saw the sea of dead Menhaden fish she was in shock.
Pawleys Island isn't the first place this week to see the dead Menhaden fish on their shores.
DeBordieu Beach had the same issue the day before, according to Chief Michael Fanning of the Pawleys Island Police Department.
Events like this happen from time to time, last year an influx of Star Fish were found on the same beaches, Fanning said.
Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) visited the area Tuesday and took water samples. No results were available at this time, but experts think a lack of oxygen caused the dead Menhaden to wash ashore.
The fish fell victim because they are more prone to feel the effects of the loss of oxygenated water, said Dr. Dan Hitchcock of Clemson University.
"When it's one species like that the species is menhaden all over the beach that's usually indicative of a low dissolve oxygen situation because they tend to be more fragile," Dr. Hitchcock said.