Yesterday evening, dead fish washed ashore in North Myrtle Beach, forming a narrow chain along the high tide line from roughly 5th Avenue North to Hog Inlet.
They were most heavily concentrated in the area from Cherry Grove Pier through to Sea Cabin Pier.
SCDNR and SCDHEC have identified the specie of fish as being Menhaden.
Menhaden, also known as mossbunker and bunker, are forage fish of the genera Brevoortia and Ethmidium, two genera of marine fish in the family Clupeidae. Menhaden is a blend of poghaden (pogy for short) and an Algonquian word akin to Narragansettmunnawhatteaûg, derived from munnohquohteau (“he fertilizes”), referring to their use of the fish as fertilizer. It is generally thought that Pilgrims were advised by Tisquantum (also known as Squanto) to plant menhaden with their crops.
Menhaden are flat and have soft flesh and a deeply forked tail. They rarely exceed 15 inches (38 cm) in length, and have a varied weight range. Atlantic menhaden are small oily-fleshed fish, bright silver, and characterized by a series of smaller spots behind the main, humeral spot.
They tend to have larger scales than yellowfin menhaden and finescale menhaden. In addition, yellowfin menhaden tail rays are a bright yellow in contrast to those of the Atlantic menhaden.
SCDNR and SCDHEC are looking into what might have caused the kill.
Using three of its mechanical beach rakes, the City is very close to completing its cleanup of the fish.