Thousands of dead fish blanket waters of Marina del Rey

Workers had a stinky cleanup on their hands Sunday after thousands of foul-smelling dead fish floated to the surface in a small corner of Marina del Rey.

Heaps of small fish washed up overnight, forming a carpet of carcasses among docks and boats in Basin A of the harbor, near Bora Bora Way.

“There were thousands of anchovies blanketing the surface,” said Michael Quill, community programs manager for the environmental group Los Angeles Waterkeeper, who was preparing to take a group of high school students on a boat trip Sunday morning when he encountered the spectacle. “It was just a sheet of silver.”

By the time Quill returned to the marina a few hours later, a work crew had scooped many of the fish carcasses from the area where they had washed up, “but it was still pretty impressive and pretty smelly.”

Reports of the dead fish started coming in about 11 p.m. Saturday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.


Sheriff’s officials called the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors to the scene to clear the fish from the water and notified the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to a deputy at the Marina del Rey Station.

The deputy, who refused to provide her name, described the incident as “very minor” and nowhere near the scale of the massive fish die-off in King Harbor in Redondo Beach three years ago.

The March 2011 fish kill was blamed on millions of small fish that swam into the marina en masse, used up all the available oxygen, suffocated and died.