St. Pete residents plead for canal clean-up amid hundreds of rotting maggot-infested dead fish

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – In Pinellas County, hundreds of dead fish washed into a St. Petersburg canal. Now they’re baking in the sun and causing a stench.

Homeowners said they reached out to the city and now they’re reaching out to 8 On Your Side for help cleaning up the canal.

Venetian Isles resident Linda Testa said there’s no overlooking this issue.

“I got all these dead fish in my back yard, this is my view and it’s a horrible stench,” Testa said.

Testa is troubled by the hundreds of rotting maggot-infested dead fish in the canal and she’s not alone.

“I won’t say it makes you want to puke but it’s very nauseating…you don’t want to be around here long,” said Linda’s sister-in-law Marie Testa.

“It’s the worst, it’s like a fish market that lost power for about a month. That’s pretty much what we’re smelling right now,” said Kim Barry who also lives in St. Pete.

Many in the community are calling for action. Eight On Your Side reached out to Pinellas County Public Information Manager David Connor asking, who is going to clean it up?

“At this point, the responsibility falls to the municipality, in this case, it’s the city of St. Pete,” Connor said.

Connor said the fish likely died from red tide and blew in with Hurricane Elsa.

Eight On Your Side spoke with city officials who say they’ve had crews working tirelessly, 10 hours a day for the past 10 days to finish clearing out the fish as soon as possible.

Connor said residents do have the option to clean it on their own, especially if it’s right around their dock or marina and says you can put the dead fish in a regular trash can but warns that it’s an unpleasant experience.

Many in the neighborhood hoping the fish and the stench will go away soon.

“It smells like an open sewer out here,” said Linda Testa.

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