COCOA BEACH -- Dead croakers lined the beach as far as the eye could see Wednesday. Each wave brought more ashore. "It sure is difficult to deal with," said A.J. Hutson, assistant city manager for Cocoa Beach. Hutson sent a cleanup crew to the city's beach parks to pick up the fish. Judging by the thousands of fish bodies on the beach Wednesday, that seemed a losing proposition. Croakers stretched along the sand from Cape Canaveral to Satellite Beach. Earlier this month, similar croaker kills fouled beaches in Ocean City, Maryland and as far north as southern New Jersey. Biologists suspect recent hurricanes may have helped trigger a bacterial or viral disease specific to croakers.
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