RIVERHEAD - Riverhead officials want to increase menhaden harvesting in the Peconic River before a potential fish die-off.

“We are speaking with the Atlantic Marine Fisheries and asking them for an exemption so the menhaden that we take won't go against the limits for the region,” says Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter.

Walter says that according to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the fish are dying because there are too many and there's not enough oxygen in the water.

"I'm just a simple country lawyer but I am 100 percent certain the healthiest river in the world couldn't sustain that number of menhaden," says Walter.

Environmentalists tell News 12 Long Island that the town's solution would provide a quick fix, but won't get to the root of the problem.

News 12 Long Island made repeated attempts to contact DEC officials, but has not heard back.