Tuesday, March 19, 2013

MASS FISH DIE-OFF IN THE UNITED STATES - March 2013

March 04, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Thousands of dead fish are littering some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. For weeks we've seen the effects of red tide, but this is one of the worst we've seen in some time. With spring break and the height of tourism season just around the corner, it's a race to clean up.  Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau officials say they're hoping Mother Nature lends a helping hand, but they're also putting in extra hours—and extra people—to do something they typically don't.  




Thousands Of Fish Wash Up Dead Onto Beaches In Florida.
"Cleaning it up in daylight hours, bringing on extra staff to make sure that's taken care of," said Tamara Pigott of Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau.  Fish kills are numbering in the thousands and an offshore bloom scientists say is 120 miles long.  "The last couple of days, it's been like the kill of the day," said Kevin Roalson of Sanibel Island.  Witnesses say fish kills are ranging in type and size.  "Literally, this thing was probably 24-30 inches long. It was big, it was massive," Roalson said.  This afternoon's showers may have kept beachgoers at bay on Fort Myers Beach this afternoon, but not the birds or the dead fish they were snacking on.  Apart from manual labor, officials are counting on some help from Mother Nature they admit may not be welcomed by all.  "We're all looking for a little bit of cold weather I know our local residents and our visitors don't want to hear anything about cold weather, but typically cold weather will break up a red tide," Pigott said.  While in places like Sanibel scientists are studying the blooms effects, on Fort Myers Beach clean up efforts are geared more towards safety, to keep barefoot people from getting injured from the fish on land.  As for the weather, experts are hoping forecasted easterly winds also lessen the bloom's effect on beaches. - NBC-2.

WATCH: Officials working overtime to keep beaches fish-free.


Thousands Of Fish Found Dead In Cuyahoga River, Ohio.


Dead fish of different size and variety wash up against the rocks along the east bank of the Cuyahoga River at Heritage Park in the Flats Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.
Thousands of dead fish were found Sunday floating in the Cuyahoga River and lining the river banks between Heritage Park and Merwin Avenue in the Flats. Red bruise-like marks appeared on some of the fish, which varied in size.  "I've seen large clumps of them floating down the river for the last three days," said T.J. Towner, who works in the area.  
Dead fish amass along the east bank of the Cuyahoga River at Heritage Park in the Flats Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.
The cause of the fish kill was not immediately known, but a spokeswoman for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District noted that fish kills of Gizzard Shad are common this time of year.  The species of fish go into thermal shock when they suddenly go from cold to warm water -- extreme temperature fluctuations that can be caused by changes in the weather, or warm effluent being released into the river or both.  "It's naturally occurring at this time of year," said the sewer district's Jean Chapman. "But we won't know for sure until someone looks at it."  Officials with the state Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources were notified of the fish kill but could not be reached for comment Sunday. - Cleveland.

Thousands Of Dead Lobsters, Starfish, Clams And Skates Wash Ashore In Massachusetts.
The power of the weekend blizzard's pounding waves washed thousands of shellfish on to Massachusetts beaches. On Nantasket Beach in Hull on Tuesday, Joe Delmonaco said the beach was littered with piles of dead lobsters, along with sea clams, starfish and skates.
Joe Delmonaco.
On Monday, beachcombers on Revere Beach found tens of thousands of surf clams along the beach's 3.5 mile expanse.  Paul Diodati, director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, told the Boston Globe that the surf clams, which were buried in shallow sandy areas, were thrown onto the beach by waves.  Delmonaco said the lobster and other shellfish in Hull attracted sea gulls which made them their Tuesday meal. - WTAE.

Thousands Of Fish Found Dead In Suck's Lake, Nebraska.
Thousands of fish that died about five weeks ago in an oxygen-depleted Suck's Lake have been washing ashore as ice melts on the city-owed lake near Harrison Street and Lamar Avenue.  The result is a smelly wall of rotting carcasses.  "It will be a mess for a little bit," said Todd McCoy, Grand Island parks and recreation director. "Parks maintenance staff have been out with buckets picking them up."  The kill was a "natural occurrence," McCoy said.  Ice cover on the 12-foot-deep lake prevented much new oxygen from entering the water. Snow on top of the ice compounded the problem by not letting much light in, he said.  But Nebraska Game and Parks Commission fisheries specialist Brad Newcomb attributed the low oxygen levels to excessive waterfowl waste that has raised nitrogen levels and algae in the lake.  Newcomb said he doubts the commission will continue its annual stocking of fish at the lake until the city fixes the problem.  "I have been getting resistance from my administration to continue the stocking program until the city reduces the waterfowl," Newcomb said.  The commission had been stocking trout in the lake every March and stocking catfish every other year.  
As the warm weather has thawed the ice at Suck's Lake, dead fish have washed ashore, as seen Tuesday. According to Grand Island Parks and Recreation Director Todd McCoy, ice cover on the 12-foot-deep lake prevented much new oxygen from entering the water, leading to hundreds of fish being killed. (Independent/Matt Dixon).
Plans were under way at the commission's Kearney service center to stock trout in Suck's Lake in about five weeks, but Newcomb said, after what he saw on Wednesday, that plan is off.  What he found were thousands of dead fish -- all sizes and all species.  Newcomb had investigated the lake just after the kill in early January, but until Wednesday, he was unable to determine the number of fish lost because many were being held underwater by the ice.  As temperatures rose, the ice started to melt and the fish have washed ashore.  Much of the ice broke away on Monday, Newcomb said.  As the carcasses have been cleared away, he said, no live fish have been seen.  "I'm guessing this is a near-total kill of the lake," Newcomb said on Wednesday afternoon.  In the count of dead fish are 2,000 gizzard shad, 2,000 bluegill, 400 common carp, 400 rainbow trout, 225 channel catfish and 225 largemouth bass.  "There were a lot of big carp -- 15 to 25 inches long," Newcomb said.  Catfish weighing 3 to 5 pounds and bass measuring 15 to 20 inches were also in the kill.  While wintertime fish kills in small lakes and ponds can be commonplace in the Midwest, McCoy said, the city hasn't had a problem with kills at Suck's Lake in the past.
As the warm weather has thawed the ice at Suck's Lake, dead fish have washed ashore, as seen Tuesday. According to Grand Island Parks and Recreation Director Todd McCoy, ice cover on the 12-foot-deep lake prevented much new oxygen from entering the water, leading to hundreds of fish being killed. (Independent/Matt Dixon).
  The most common fish kills in city lakes have occurred at Pier Lake, where large populations of waterfowl contributed to nutrients in the lake that were too excessive for the fish. The city added aeration fountains to Pier Lake to help alleviate the kills there.  Even so, Newcomb said water quality at Pier Lake remains so poor that only fish that can tolerate poor water quality -- bullheads and green sunfish -- have survived there. The commission no longer stocks fish at Pier because of the poor water quality, he said.  There are no plans to add aeration to Suck's Lake.  "We don't have the budget for it," McCoy said.  A fish kill late last fall at Liberty Lake at the Grand Island Veterans Home led to Boy Scout Kyle Whitely spearheading a $1,500 Eagle Scout project to add a windmill-operated aeration system there. 
As the warm weather has thawed the ice at Suck's Lake, dead fish have washed ashore, as seen Tuesday. According to Grand Island Parks and Recreation Director Todd McCoy, ice cover on the 12-foot-deep lake prevented much new oxygen from entering the water, leading to hundreds of fish being killed. (Independent/Matt Dixon).
 Before Newcomb arrived Wednesday afternoon, McCoy said he believed there still might be fish living in Suck's Lake and those fish would thrive and get larger.  "We expect that it will continue to be a popular fishing spot," he said.  But the kill appeared to be much more severe than what officials initially may have thought, Newcomb said.  Even if the water quality improved immediately, he said, it will take two to three years for fingerling fish to grow to a size to accommodate public fishing again.  "We submitted a written waterfowl reduction plan to the city in 2008," Newcomb said. "Until the waterfowl problem is resolved, I see these fish kills continuing." - The Independent.
Thousands Of Fish Washing Up Dead On Shores Of Lake Erie.
Thousands of dead fish are now washing up along the shorelines of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie. But an expert says there is no cause for alarm.   The fish are gizzard shad and the late winter "die offs" are fairly common. The fish can't tolerate the cold, and die under the ice. As the ice melts, they wash up along the shoreline.   Biologists say it is a natural event, not caused by pollution. Still, the large number of dead fish is a shock.  Presque Isle visitor Jerry Jardos said, "I can't believe how many. There's got to be a million of them, amazing."   Experts say the fish don't pose any danger. but when it gets warmer they will begin to decay and they will have a very strong odor.   DEP Great Lakes Biologist Jim Grazio said, "This is a large kill. As the fish decay and rot there is going to be oxygen depleted. It is going to stink." - Erie TV News.

WATCH: Thousands of dead fish along Lake Erie.


100 Manatees Killed By Red Tide This Year In Florida.
Loggerhead turtle found dead off of Bonita Beach - red tide the suspected killer.
Red tide has killed nearly 100 manatees so far this year, according to officials with FWC. That's three times as many as all of last year. It's also suspected of causing some turtle deaths.  More manatees are migrating here to our warm water just as the toxic algae blooming off the coast is getting worse.  Just two months into the year, scientists say we've already tripled last year's number of manatee deaths from toxic algae.  "I'm astonished – astonished. We love manatees," said Richard Lauzon, who is visiting from Montreal.  Pine Island resident Garret Davenport also saw a dead manatee that boaters brought into the Pine Island Co-op Marina.  "The smell was terrible. I've seen two now in the past week," he said.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says it's rescued five manatees suffering from red tide so far this year; but 96 died before they could be saved - ingesting the toxin stuck on sea grasses they eat.  Veterinarians say the toxin paralyzes and suffocated the animal.  "It's sad; these are charismatic animals," said Martine DeWit, with FWC.  The bloom offshore is becoming more severe, as more manatees are arriving here during their winter migration.  

FWC says they haven't seen this many manatee red tide deaths since 1996. They say it will be years before they know the effects of another large kill on and endangered population.  "This has got to be one of the worst times I've ever seen it," said Davenport.  FWC says they need your help getting to manatees that may be suffering from red tide.  If you see one that's in distress, you can call the FWC hotline at 888-404-3922.  Red tide is also now the suspected cause of death of sea turtles in Southwest Florida.  So far this year, 13 dead sea turtles have been reported dead. That's compared to just 2 sea turtle deaths at this time last year.  Just Wednesday, a loggerhead and a Kemp's Ridley were found dead.  The female loggerhead was spotted by a boater in fish trap bay in Bonita Springs Wednesday morning. She was picked up by Florida Gulf Coast University researchers and examined by a volunteer at turtle time.  Barnacles covered her shell and she seemed underweight; but researchers we spoke with say this many sea turtles shouldn't be dying.  "When I get that call, I just say, ‘Oh no not another one.' It's that sadness, but if it's an animal like the one we just retrieved, perhaps it will give us some answers through laboratory testing," said Eve Haverfield, with Turtle Time Inc.  "When we got to it, its head was up on the beach. Its head was up and it just looked very lethargic; but unfortunately it had already expired by the time we got up there," added Bob Wasno, FGCU Vester Marine Field Station Facilities Manager.  The sea turtles will be frozen until FWC can pick them up and perform necropsies to determine for certain if red tide is to blame for their deaths. - NBC-2.

WATCH: Red tide killing manatees, suspected in turtle deaths.


18 comments:

  1. Animal mass death case again!!!
    What is going on?
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  3. Massive animal die-off happened frequently in recent years! Planet X keeps affecting the earth!

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  4. Mass death of fish!!!!!
    What a shocked news!
    What's going on of the earth!
    However, we have seldom heard this kind of news from the news report or news paper.
    Is it the global governments trying to hide something serious?

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