HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Lifeguards at Woodlawn Beach State Park were in for an unexpected surprise Tuesday morning. When they showed up to work, they found dozens of dead fish washed up on the beach.
The lifeguards were forced to gather them all up and dump them off the shore, away from the beach.
“The girl who was picking up the fish, she had her hat out,” said Lindsey Terranova, who visited the beach Tuesday. “The other girls had a facemask.”
Woodlawn Beach is a state park, but it is operated by the Town of Hamburg. Town recreation officials say it’s not uncommon for dead fish to wash up on shore. However they admit they’re not used to seeing so many of them.
The recreation department reached out to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. They say they were told the fish likely died from “temperature-related stress”, and were then drawn toward the beach by incoming winds.
A DEC spokesperson confirmed that possibility, and said due to the advanced level of decomposition, they are unable to do a laboratory analysis on the fish.
The issue, and the subsequent smell, didn’t keep Terranova from visiting.
“Luckily, the beach is really well kept,” she said.