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Concern Over Dead Fish Popping Up In Dade

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A mystery in a northeast Miami-Dade after dead fish popped up in a canal and lake in the Sun Swept Isles neighborhood of Highland Lakes, off Ives Dairy Road.

Hundreds of dead fish have appeared in the canal on Northeast 214th Street between 24th and 25th courts and have washed up onto the seawalls and backyards of houses that line the waterway and connected lake, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

The cause of the fish kill is unknown. The county's Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources had decided not to test the water because there is no evidence that it was caused by illegal dumping or a chemical spill.

Those who have lived in Sun Swept Isles for while say this is not the first time they've had large numbers of dead fish in the canal and lake.

Tere Estorio Florin, communications manager for the Miami-Dade Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, said the area was inspected on Sunday, and she is waiting for the details of the assessment to explain why fish are dying.

On Monday, a similar fish kill happened near the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Florin is waiting for details from that inspection as well, according to the Miami Herald.

Some residents in the area noticed the fish popping up in the water. There was concern to say the least.

"Clearly, there's a lot of dead fish," said Coral Gables resident Jack Miller.

He said you can't help but see and really smell dead fish, floating in the water near the popular fishing spot at 57th Ave and 35th Street.

"Today, I actually jogged a different direction to avoid the smell," said Miller.

Meantime, residents in the Highland Lakes area are asking for answers.

"I'd like to know what happened.. is something contaminated or is it just a natural cause," said resident Mike Green.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said it's likely caused by the extreme heat and excessive rain lately.  The oxygen level in the water changes and causes fish to die off.

As for how much longer residents will have to deal with the fish and smell, it will not be cleaned up. Nature will just take its course. It's up to the other animals.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.

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