Millions of menhaden wash up in Mason Inlet

Millions of menhaden wash up in Mason Inlet

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - A state official says thousands of Atlantic menhaden have washed up from Mason Inlet between Wrightsville Beach and Figure Eight Island.

Jim Gregson of the N.C. Division of Water Resources said the kill was "literally millions of menhaden," the Associate Press reported. Viewers in our area sent in photos of the kill. Will Owen said the fish stretched as far as he could see.

A large school of menhaden entered Mason Inlet at high tide. A video sent to the division shows the school of menhaden turning the light-green waters dark as they surged through. It's believed the fish moved up the creeks behind the beach, became trapped as the tide fell and suffocated.

Gregson said it isn't unheard of to see huge numbers of menhaden killed because they get stuck.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. WECT contributed to this report.