More fish kills attributed to winter temperatures and oxygen deprivation. I can’t help but be intrigued with this phenomena, natural or otherwise. Like I’ve said before, in some cases it’s pollution/poisoning and in others oxygen levels, but whatever the case, it’s happening a lot all over the world.
What intrigues me most is that the locals very frequently state that they have never seen anything like it while living there. To me that says it’s a new event, and even if it’s natural, what is triggering it?
I started to blog a few of the stories and then found enough that I’ll just do a round-up to save you time. Some of them are from a few weeks back. It takes the search engines a bit to index them all.
Kansas fish kill - oxygen levels blamed - March 21, 2011
When Newton resident Melissa Barns spotted what she thought were an abnormal number of dead fish floating in Sand Creek, she snapped a photo and then asked, “Has anyone found out why there are so many dead fish floating along the Sand Creek banks?” on the Kansan Facebook wall.
The answer isn’t nefarious. It’s actually mundane.
“Wildlife and parks came and said it was from a lack of oxygen,” said Burke Lewis, park superintendent for the city of Newton. “They took water samples and e-mailed us results within hours.”
The fish died when ice was thick, water levels were low and they ran out of oxygen.
“It’s part of nature,” Lewis said, “and nature will consume them.”
Ravenna Nebraska Fish Kill larger than previously thought - oxygen deprivation blamed - March 25, 2011
RAVENNA — A recent fish kill at Ravenna Lake was more severe than initially thought.
On March 4, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission counted 350 fish killed by low dissolved oxygen, commonly called winter kill this time of year. A second count of dead fish on March 16 found about 3,800 dead fish, said Brad Eifert, a fisheries biologist.
“There was still a percentage of ice on the lake when we did the first study,” Eifert said of why they missed so many dead fish. He also noted that after fish die they float at first, but then sink until they start to decompose.
The first investigation found about 120 largemouth bass, 80 blue gill, 30 channel catfish, and seven common carp. The second fish kill count included about 450 largemouth bass, 3,100 bluegill, and 200 channel catfish.
Eifert said although it was a major kill, he believed there is still some small fish left in the lake. He also said that in talking to people who fished the lake this winter, he believes the kill did not occur until February.
Eifert said winter kill is relatively common but he believes this kill-off is due to the substantial amount of vegetation growing in Ravenna Lake.
“There is a lot of vegetation, which is good for fish populations, but (the plants) require high levels of sunlight,” he said, adding that if a lake gets a thick layer of ice, it blocks sunlight needed by the vegetation. “Once the organic material dies, it uses oxygen, taking it away from the fish.”
Thousands of Gizzard Shad dead in Milwaukee rivers - March 17, 2011
The sky above the Menomonee River by the Harley-Davidson Museum is filled with sound of loud and hungry seagulls. They’re feeding on the thousands of dead Gizzard Shad fish floating down Milwaukee rivers.
Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Tech Tom Burzynski believes the situation isn’t cause for alarm. He says, “It’s been a one species event. When that happen, you kind of expect it had to do with their history rather than it’s something environmental, or something that’s a pollutant some point source that did it.”
Instead, the reason so many fish are dying right now seems to be a change in their immediate environment. Burzynski says, “All it can take for survival is, you know, a little temperature swing one way or the other like we’re seeing here. Which is likely what happened here is temperature.”
Another Pennsylvania Fish Kill with possibly thousands dead - oxygen deprivation blamed - March 25th, 2011
SOUTH SHENANGO TOWNSHIP — Mary Miller said it wasn’t long after she and her husband, Jim, started walking by the 17-acre, semi-private lake near their Jamestown-area home earlier this week that they noticed a lot of fish — all dead — along the shoreline.
What appeared to be hundreds, maybe thousands — bass, carp, perch, bluegill, sunfish and other species — were “everywhere,” Miller said. “We have never seen anything like that” in the 17 years they’ve lived at Colonial Estates, she added, where the spring-fed lake (officially unnamed but known to homeowners there as Colonial Lake) is located.
The die-off was reported Monday to Officer Matthew Visosky, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Crawford County waterways conservation expert. After investigating at the lake, Visosky said it appears the die-off was natural and likely the result of depleted oxygen levels in the water caused by months of thick ice and snow cover.
In this case, Visosky said, it’s “looking like the same thing that has happened in the past,” and, more recently, similar to what “happened this week up (at Presque Isle State Park) in Erie.”
Mass fish kill in Pakistan - poisoning blamed but no evidence yet - March 28th, 2011
UMERKOT, March 28: A large number of fish were found dead in the Nara Canal and its tributaries near Farash regulator on Sunday.
People of the area believed the cause of their death was use of chemicals in the canal by greedy fishermen to maximise their catch.
A fisherman Ghulam Hussain Mallah told this correspondent that he found scores of dead fish floating in water when he was filling a pitcher from Thar Wah near Tio Mail regulator and warned his fellow villagers against using the canal water for drinking.
He said the fish might have died because of presence of some poisonous substance in water.
Small fish kill in Massachusetts - oxygen deprivation blamed - March 19, 2011
Thursday’s mild temperatures and sunshine laid bare dozens of dead fish floating along the shore of the small murky pond adjacent to Bliss Bros. Dairy on Route 118, their silver and gold-colored scales glinting in the sunlight as geese bobbed for food.
While the view of many fish belly-up can be distressing to passersby - and was for one person who called the newspaper - it’s often a natural occurrence during this season, according to the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife’s website.
Mass ‘winterkill” in Greece - March 20, 2011
It was quite a sight to see this weekend — hundreds of dead fish piled up on the shorelines of Cranberry Pond, off of Edgemere Drive in Greece.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says it’s nothing more than a natural phenomenon. But some people aren’t so sure.
Peter Privitera and his buddies weren’t catching much of anything Sunday.
"[I’ve] never seen anything like this. There’s gotta be a couple of thousand dead fish right along the shoreline," said Privitera. "I makes me sad and kind and makes me concerned. It makes me wonder what killed them off and what’s going to be done as far as testing the water to make sure it’s safe."
Longtime angler Glen Krull thought it might be some sort of contamination, because so many species of fish are dead.
"I don’t know what would do that — gasoline or oil, or something someone dumped in from their hut — they’re ice fishing out here all the time," said Krull.
While the DEC says spills and disease are concerns when there large numbers of dead fish, what’s happening in cranberry and long ponds is nothing but “Winterkill.” Region 8 Director Paul D’Amato tells News 10NBC this phenomenon happens when heavy snow and ice cover the bodies of water for a long period of time. All the available oxygen in the water is used up, and the fish die.
Fish kill in Australia - warm weather blamed - March 30, 2011
Wait. So cold temperatures cause oxygen deprivation and warm weather does as well? Seems like water is a bad place for fish these days…
DEAD mullet have been found floating on the surface of a Taree waterway for the second time in less than two months.
The fish could be seen at the wetland near Nulama Village at Taree North yesterday, also the site of a similar fish kill in February.
The heat and subsequent loss of oxygen from the water was blamed on that occasion but does not seem likely this time due to the much milder weather conditions.
Some of the fish were found on the banks of the wetland, suggesting they may have jumped from the water.
Experts from the Department of Fisheries were not available for comment yesterday.