Large scale fish kill affecting Florida residents statewide

MARION COUNTY, Fla. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say hurricane Irma has caused a large-scale fish kill.

Some residents in Marion County say they're already feeling the effects.

"It’s horrific; it's the smell of death."

Geff Gascay says thousands of dead fish have begun washing up along the Withlacooche River many in the canal right in his back yard.

Geff Gascay said, "When the sun beats down on large amounts of dead fish in my water it's undescribable."

And he's not alone.

Jake Weis said, "There's big ones, small and medium sized ones all coming up dead and we've started seeing them days ago. But now that smell and the amount of fish is becoming overwhelming."

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say hurricane Irma has caused a large scale fish kill throughout the state of Florida.

And they say it could take weeks for the dead fish to wash out and for new fish to re-populate in the affected areas.

Jake Weis said, "We're really worried and concerned that people aren't going to be coming to visit to go fishing; Meaning that we're not going to be able to operate our small business until something changes."

City officials have since closed down Dunnellon's beach and are having the water tested by the Marion County Health and Environmental Services.

Residents say they just want this dead fish frenzy to be gone.

Geff Gascay said, "We're not 100 percent sure what's going to happen, but this will affect the whole food chain; so we're going to see wildlife changing the ecosystem changing and even definitely tourism changing."