Dozens of dead fish were spotted in the Ala Wai Canal Friday. A viewer alerted us to the problem via Report It.
People walking alongside the Ala Wai could smell the stench of rotting fish floating toward the Kapahulu end of the canal.
KHON2 alerted the Department of Health and the Department of Land and Natural Resources to the problem. State officials immediately went out to investigate and discovered about 100 tilapia, dead or dying, spread out throughout the canal.
The Department of Health reported only tilapia between five to six inches in size were affected. Officials say it’s odd they were the ones found dead or dying.
“We’re not sure right now (why). It could be oxygen depletion, but we’re not sure,” said Brian Kanenaka with DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources. “We’re concerned if this is the start of something larger. We’ll take fish samples to be analyzed.”
The Department of Health also speculates that a large group of fish may have been exposed to something, and hopes this is just an isolated incident.
The Division of Aquatic Resources say the last time a large group fish turned up dead or dying in the Ala Wai Canal was about two years ago.
Officials are currently testing water samples.
The Ala Wai Canal is closed for fishing.