Dead fish pile up, leave stench behind Fort Myers Beach Town Hall

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Someone trying to clean up Fort Myers Beach has been tossing dead fish in a pile behind Town Hall with other garbage and debris, and neighbors are complaining.

While the fish may have been moved in an attempt to make the shoreline cleaner, the pile of rotting dead fish is wafting its foul odor into the surrounding neighborhood.

But, soon after WINK News aired this story Town Hall wanted to get the dead marine life out of the area as quickly as possible.

Others, like the Kensingers living nearby, said they’re praying the dead fish never return. The Kensingers live behind Town Hall, with the fish pile just 200 feet from their home.

“I try not to go down there, but, you know walking just to go and get the mail is disgusting,” said Lori Kensinger. “I just wish they would find a place… I know they want to keep it from a large population of people, but living on this street… we are people, too.”

Sean lives near Town Hall on Tropical Shores Way, and spoke to WINK News about the fishy situation.

“Yesterday you couldn’t stand here and not gag,” Sean said

But on Thursday morning, the rotting fish were scheduled to be moved away. The fish didn’t get too far away though. That’s because they were moved to a dumpster a mere 100 feet away.

All those fish piled into a dumpster eventually brought more unwanted visitors. The flies being the only creature attracted to the smell of rotting fish, swarmed the dumpster.

“I actually didn’t go on the beach and see it. I just see it every time I walked by to go get my mail. It’s in the dumpster,” Sylvia Lucas, who lives near the fish, said.

The WINK News drone shows just how close the dumpster is to homes on Tropical Shores Way, and neighbors have had enough. They want to know why the fish were sitting where they were for so long.

“I rarely see the fish on the ground. So that had to be unique situation, but most the time it goes to the dumpster. Then we try to get it off Island to landfill as soon as possible,” vice-mayor of Fort Myers Beach, Jim Atterholt said.

The dumpster is close to Town Hall, which is where Atterholt works.

“It’s tough because I live just a couple houses away here by myself,” Atterholt said.

Then WINK News exclusively saw the dumpster getting taken away. That was the second time the dumpster was moved on the same day.

It isn’t just Fort Myers Beach seeing those dead fish wash up—it’s all of Lee County. A red tide alert is in effect for Turner Beach, Blind Pass Beach, Buck Key, Bonita Beach Causeway (known as “the dog beach”), Bonita Beach Park, Little Hickory Island Park and Boca Grande Beach.

Visitors are advised to stay away from the water. If you live near the beach, close your windows and run your A/C.

Atterholt has a meeting on March 20, with Chauncey Goss, the head of the Southwest Florida Water District. They will discuss when the reservoirs will come online which will hopefully alleviate some of the Red Tide issues and keep fish in the water where they belong.

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