Thousands of fish wash up on Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island is known for its beautiful, serene beaches, but Tuesday, beachgoers saw something a little different.

Thousands of dead menhaden fish washed up on the shore.

Pawleys Island Police notified the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and they came and took samples of the fish and water.

NewsChannel 15 spoke with Dan Hitchcock, a coastal waters professor at Clemson University, who is staying on Pawleys Island right now and helped the DNR with their investigation.

This many fish washing to shore is rare, said Hitchcock, and even more rare during the winter.

Wind and our unusually warm weather created a perfect storm that created a dissolved oxygen overturn, according to Regional Marine Biologist, Dean Cain with the DNR.

This is the largest fish kill Cain has ever seen.

A dissolved oxygen overturn means that the menhaden were suffocated.

There was a similar incident on Monday at Debordieu beaches according to Hitchcock. He believes the two incidents may be related.

Wednesday, the menhaden washed back to shore at Pawleys Island. Eventually, the tide should dispose of them naturally, according to Cain.