Showing posts tagged mass fish kill

(CNN) — The unexplained beachings of scores of dolphins over the past month along Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is the largest “single-species event” of its kind on record in the northeastern United States, a marine mammal specialist said Monday.
A total of 129 common dolphins have been found since the animals began stranding themselves in early January, said Katie Moore, marine mammal rescue and research manager for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Scientists Predict Record Gulf of Mexico “Dead Zone” Due to Mississippi Flooding

The mass fish kills will continue. 

The effects of this spring’s extreme flooding of the Mississippi River have been – pardon the pun – spilling over into every possible corner of the area’s residential, commercial, and agricultural life over the last two months. And it looks like the environment hasn’t escaped either: researchers from the University of Michigan predict that the largest Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” on record will result from the flooding.

The dead zone is forecast to be between 8,500 and 9,421 square miles – an area roughly the size of New Hampshire, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The zone is a threat to aquatic organisms as well as the humans who depend on them in the gulf’s booming seafood industry.

"Stream flows were nearly double normal during May, delivering massive amounts of nutrients to the Gulf, and that’s what drives the dead zone," said Donald Scavia, Special Counsel to the U-M President for Sustainability and director of the Graham Sustainability Institute.
(See pictures of flood waters rising along the Mississippi river.)

Scavia noted that the most likely 2011 scenario is a Gulf dead zone of at least 8,500 square miles. This estimate far surpasses the 6,000-square-mile average of the past five years, as well as the current record, set in 2002, of 8400 miles.

The oxygen-starved Gulf dead zone is largely caused by farmland runoff containing fertilizers and livestock waste from as far away as the Corn Belt. Nitrogen and phosphorus from these sources flow down the Mississippi River and into the Gulf in late spring and summer each year, prompting explosive algal blooms, which later die and sink to the ocean floor. As they decompose, the algae provide bottom-dwelling bacteria with organic matter to feast on. Oxygen is consumed in the process, producing an oxygen-starved region in bottom and near-bottom waters: a dead zone.

This year, nitrogen and phosphorus have been seeping from Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers into the Gulf in alarmingly high amounts. In May 2011, 164,000 metric tons of nitrogen were transported to the northern Gulf, according to the U.S. Geological Survey – a 35% climb from average May nitrogen estimates in the last 32 years. The Gulf has seen a shocking 300% increase in nitrogen content since 1960.

Read more:


Pattern Recognition - Mass Fish Kill Roundup - Early May 2011

This just doesn’t stop. I’m past the point of thinking these numbers are “normal” or that they “happen all the time”.  The effects of poisoning, oil spills, climate change in the form of extreme winter conditions, and algal blooms also caused by humans cause this trend to continue.

Fish Kill In Cedar Creek a Mystery - Pennsylvania - May 3rd 2011

Investigators have been unable to determine what killed about 100 fish, mostly trout, in Cedar Creek three weeks ago.

Thousands of dead fish in Pampanga River, Philippines- May 3rd 2011 - cause as yet undetermined, possibly overfishing

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Governor Lilia Pineda on Monday has asked fourth district Provincial Board member Nestor Tolentino investigate the tons of dead fish floating along the Masantol portion of Pampanga River.

Dead Fish in East Lagoon at NIU - Illinois - May 3rd 2011 - oxygen deprivation

Winter Kill in Calburn Lake - Calgary - May 3rd, 2011 - oxygen deprivation

Fish and Wildlife Services say that the remaining fish should do well because there will be less competition. “There will be lots of food for them, and they’ll start reproducing as long as we don’t get a number of winter kills. Then they’ll come back on their own,” says Ed Pirogowicz, Fish and Wildlife Officer.

Lakeside NY town hauls away thousands of dead fish - April 27th, 2011 - oxygen deprivation

MORIAH, N.Y. — Crews are cleaning up the thousands of dead fish that have washed up along Lake Champlain’s New York shoreline

Thousands of dead fish wash up on Indian beach - Panaji India - April 30th, 2011 - locals suspect fishermen, but have no fucking clue

PANAJI: The people of Calangute and Candolim witnessed an unusual phenomenon of dead sardines surfacing on the beaches in the area…As the day progressed the dead fish got accumulated in huge numbers.

Huge sperm whale washes up on Sydney beach - Australia - April 29th - cause of death unknown, shark mutilation, but possibly after the death. 

Mystery over death of whale in double stranding - New Zealand - March 5th, 2011 (yeah, I missed this one so it’s late) - cause of death unknown

A blue whale stranded on the Waiinu Beach over the weekend is the first of its kind to be seen on the South Taranaki coastline in 30 years.

Anton van Helden, collection manager of marine mammals at Te Papa, said that, from the pictures he saw, it was incredibly emaciated, which was odd for this time of year.

"It’s quite an unusual occurrence for us to have a baleen type whale," he said. Baleen or whalebone whales were krill feeders who lived in deep ocean areas Mr Campbell said.

Other deep sea whales have been spotted in rare close to shore sightings this year.

Gray and Blue whale migrations patterns deviate this year - Southern California - May 1st 2011 

This final stage of the northbound migration through Southland waters is occurring later than usual and comes during an unseasonably early arrival of blue whales into Southern California waters.

Blue whales are being seen sporadically, as close as a mile from shore to several miles offshore, as they presumably conduct a hunt for vast blooms of shrimp-like krill. The Dana Pride crew has seen krill off Orange County and on Saturday the crew of the Christopher out of Long Beach witnessed a blue whale lunge-feeding at the surface, nine miles from shore.

Male pilot whale dies stranded on Wurtulla beach Australia - April 21st, 2011

Lemming hordes on pace for record migration in Sweden - April 11, 2011

Hordes of lemmings have been spotted leaving the safety of the mountains to make their way down to more inhabited areas, falling victim to traffic and being preyed upon by other animals.

“I must have seen a thousand just since Saturday. They are absolutely everywhere. They are swimming about in the lake close to our house, they jump on the ice floes, and they scurry around the outside of our house,“ said holiday-maker Magnus Lundberg, to the local Östersundsposten (ÖP) daily.

Favourable weather has created the conditions for 2011 to become what Swedes call “a real lemming year”.

According to Bengt Landström of the mountain unit at the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten, this may well be a record year for lemmings…


To read more about mass fish kills and whale strandings  check out my other Round-ups:


Mass of water off Australian coast rises 3 degrees in “marine heatwave”

Scientists have detected a large mass of water off the WA coastline that has risen in temperature by up to three degrees.

The unprecedented temperature spike is being described as a “marine heatwave,” and stretches from Exmouth to the south of Mandurah. 

It was first discovered last November and is petering out now.

Acting Research Director at the Department of Fisheries, Dan Gaughan, says changes in ocean warmth can have fatal impacts on marine species, and fish and mollusc deaths have been detected.

"We’ve seen mortalities of abalone in the northern end of their range here, so they’ve obviously reached water temperatures that were lethal for them, so we’ve got to think about what are the impacts on the fishermen in that area. 

"There’s also been some deaths of western rock lobsters in areas where the hot water was combined with quite calm conditions, so you didn’t have a good turnover of the water. And we’ve also seen a few scattered fish kills in terms of scale fish."

But Mr Gaughan says the heatwave may not be all bad.

"We have seen some clear positives in terms of, for example, good numbers of spanish mackerel coming down the coast this year which is a boon to the recreational fishers. You do get increased growth rates of larval stages for those that can tolerate the temperatures so you do get increased productivity and possibly increased recruitment of some species."

He says the heatwave is unusual and not something that will be regularly repeated.

"I’m expecting things to return to normal next year, or the year after."



Pattern Recognition - Mass Fish Kill Roundup - Late April 2011

Thousands of dead fish in Ventura Harbour - no cause yet - assumed oxygen deprivation - April 19th, 2011

Masses of fish started crowding Ventura Harbor about a week ago, Miller said, though it was unclear what drove them there.

"We just think they moved in there, and it was just like crowding too many people into a room," he said. "There’s no sign of red tide, and there’s no indication otherwise on why that would have happened, other than oxygen deprivation."

Thousands of dead fish show up in Lake Champlain - winter kill blamed - April 22nd, 2011

Residents of the Champlain Islands and the lakeshore near St. Albans have reported large numbers of dead alewives washing up on the shoreline.

Thousands of dead fish on seas shore in Queensland Australia - cause of death unknown - April 24th, 2011

MYSTERY surrounds the discovery of thousands of dead fish which littered Marcoola Beach on Friday.

Plan to fix Buffalo lake where tons of fish died - April 12th, 2011

State officials plan to spend $100,000 to pump oxygen into a Buffalo park lake where workers have removed more than 4.5 tons of dead fish.

Thousands of fish dead in Lake Musconetcong NJ - bacteria blamed for death - April 20th, 2011

A user of the Lake Musconetcong Community Association Facebook page posted this account:

Here is a view of the massive fish kill I have been seeing on the lake. Thousands of sunfish, crappie, pickeral, some bass. My highlight or lowlight of the day was talking to a fellow member from my boat on the Port Morris side and watching a small catfish come up and die in front of us… next to a large perch just about to die. Not sure what the problem is but this is not good.

Uncommon Death of 15 sharks in Florida - cause unknown - April 22nd, 2011

Bird, dolphin, sea lion deaths on the rise - domoic acid algae bloom possible cause - April 21st, 2011

What may be an escalating outbreak of ocean toxin is sending sick and dying birds and sea lions to rescue centers on the Southern California coast, with more dead dolphins washing up onshore, wildlife officials and rescuers said Thursday.

At least 10 sea birds were crowding the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach Thursday, and six others have died; the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach has seen 15 sea lions in recent days, and all but two have died.

Six dolphins have washed up since Sunday on Orange County shores.

"We are just inundated," said Jamie Pavlat, a volunteer supervisor at the Huntington Beach Center, who was helping care for sickened grebes, loons and cormorants Thursday.

The total so far since April 4: 61 sea lions, 11 common dolphins and one Dall’s porpoise in Los Angeles County, and, in addition to the 15 sea lions, six common dolphins in Orange County, according to rescuers and wildlife biologist Joe Cordaro of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The total includes two dolphins that washed up in Orange County Thursday.

Of the total sea lions, 48 remained alive at last count, Cordaro said.

Experts believe the animals are being sickened by domoic acid, a toxin produced by tiny marine organisms called diatoms that periodically bloom off the coast.

Rare sighting of offshore killer whales made off Long Beach - April 16th, 2011

As many as eight orcas were seen feeding on a massive school of fish before slowly heading east, and there could be many more around because offshore killer whales typically travel in much larger groups.

Offshore orcas seem to spend much of their time off British Columbia. Schulman-Janiger, who is conducting a longterm photo-identification study of transient and offshore killer whales, said she has fewer than 60 records of offshore orcas off California over the last 19 years.

Record number of Rare “Right whales” swarm Cape Cod - April 21st, 2011


To read more about mass fish kills and whale strandings and dramatic earth changes check out my other Round-ups:


Pattern Recognition - Fish & sea animal deaths April 2011

When I compile these lists of fish kills, I find myself saying the same thing. Yes, I know it’s something that has happened before. I know the ready availability of information on the internet makes the stories more accessible and they get reported more because news outlets know it brings in readers and viewers.

What concerns me is the regularity of eye-witness and expert descriptions using phrases like "record setting", "inexplicable",  and “unprecedented" or, "I’ve been here for 28 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.” or “I haven’t seen this density before,”, or “We have never seen anything like that” in the 17 years [we’ve lived here]”.

The experts say the Harmful Algal Blooms are poisoning them, or that they have too little oxygen because it is too warm or too cold.

We know that they are often dying in mass numbers because humans poison them with sewage, chemicals, and oil.

If you believe that this is a sign of the end of the world, feel free, but I take it as a sign that we are “shitting where we live”, if you’ll pardon my crudeness. 

Personally, I think climate change is related to many of the oxygen deprivation cases. Whatever the cause, aberrant weather patterns on a global scale combined with pollution has increased the volume of animals and fish affected.

So, I’ll keep tracking this because it interests me, because it’s shocking, and because it’s yet another sign of the changes our world is going through. If you think you can keep living here and not be affected, think again. Next time the fish might be rotting in YOUR backyard.


Tons of dead fish cleared from Hoyt Lake - Buffalo NY - April 12th, 2011 - oxygen deprivation

Thousands of dead fish in River Rouge - Michigan - April 12, 2011 - “cold weather”

Melting Mpls. Lakes Reveal Hundreds of Dead Fish - Minnesota April 12, 2011 - oxygen deprivation and nutrient runoff  - Source 2

500-100 fish dead in UK Ponds - London April 12, 2011 - oxygen deprivation

100 Dead Fish in Cedar Creek - Allentown, PA - April 10, 2011 - cause unknown

100 dead fish in triple Creek - Longview TX - April 10, 2011 - oxygen deprivation from sewage leak

100 Dead fish in park pond - Madison MS - April 12, 2011 - oxygen deprivation

Company fined for 50 fish deaths - South Wales, UK - April 12th, 2011 - sewage leak

Hundreds of dead fish in lagoon - Ontario - April 8th, 2011 - oxygen deprivation

Dozens of sea lions poisoned - South Bay/Santa Monica CA - April 12, 2011

406 Gulf Dolphin deaths designated An ‘Unusual Mortality Event’(UME) by NOAA - April 10, 2011

Citizen protest over thousands of dead fish on Anglesea River in October 2010 sparks probe - Australia - April 8th, 2011 - acidic waters blamed

Farmer fined after silage spill kills 800-1000 fish  - Lancashire England - April 4, 2011

36 Connecticut lakes and ponds have reported mass fish kills -April 8th, 2011 - cold winter and oxygen deprivation blamed

"We looked behind us and it’s like oh my God," Wierzbicki said. "I saw all these fish piled up. We’ve seen stuff like that before, but this went out 2 to 3 feet, stacked up on top of each other, it’s awful.”

The DEP said winter fish kills have been reported at three dozen of the state’s ponds and lakes. That’s already more than all of last year.

BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed or sickened as many as 200 times the number of animals estimated by the government - April 12, 2011

Mass fish kills and Harmful Agal Bloom in Ontario waterways caused by animal and farming waste result in “deadzones”

Nutrient runoff and sewage drainage contributes to Harmful Algal Blooms - “Coastal  eutrophication  and  harmful  algal  blooms” -  - Journal Articles: Source 1  Source 2 Source 3


To read more about mass fish kills and whale strandings and dramatic earth changes check out my other Round-ups:


Dead Fish roundup - March 31st, 2011

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.


Arizona Senate votes down bill to review impact of poisoning exotic fish before doing it - March 25, 2011


Dead Fish round-up - 03/30/2011

Experts say that these are all due to winter conditions and oxygen deprivation. Other folks who live near the fish kills will say they have never seen it like this before. We had some severe winter weather this year. Not a sign of the end of the world, but in my mind, definitely a sign of climate change.  And then there are the ones from pollution and oil spills….

Small fish kill in Bangladore

Oxygen deprivation again…

About 150 fish were found dead at a pond in JP Park of Mathikere on Tuesday night. Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials said that the fish were choked to death owing to excessive evaporation of water in the stagnant water body.


Another small kill in a pond in Missoula

A line of dead fish -- those white dots -- stretch across part of the pond

Visitors to the duck pond on the south side of town will find a pretty gross scene: more dead fish than actual ducks.

Roughly 50 dead fish are visibly floating on the surface of the small pond. Neighbors first noticed the issue and reported it to Missoula Parks and Rec yesterday. This morning, Parks and Rec recovered one of the fish and sent it to Fish, Wildlife and Parks for testing.


Small Fish Kill in Minnesota

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (KSAX) - Around 300 dead fish were found in Lake Agnes and Lake Henry earlier this month in open water areas after ice had melted. But both residents and experts said they’re not sure why.

"All winter long, I’ve been fishing the lake (Henry), and I ran into a situation where we had a four to six foot column of fish, and all of the sudden, they disappeared. I could not find a fish on the lake," Lake Henry resident and fisherman Rick Colden said.  

Colden isn’t the only one who’s had a hard time on the lakes, as more than 2,000 anglers failed to catch a fish at a tournament on the adjoining Lake Agnes on Feb. 12.

But the recent evidence of fish kill may be to blame.

"A lot of game fishes; walleye, bass, bluegill, some crappie, (were found dead). So certainly a concern," Minnesota Department of Natural Resources area fisheries supervisor Dean Beck said.

Beck said it’s hard to pinpoint a timeframe or reason for the fish kill because both fish and water samples can no longer provide accurate readings.


Small fish kill in Connecticut

Wallingford, Conn (WTNH) - It’s happening in a lot of fresh water around Connecticut right now. Dozens of dead fish are turning up, floating on the surface. The DEP says it’s a common occurrence after the kind of winter we had.

North Farms Reservoir in Wallingford is very large, but it is also very shallow. It’s just six feet deep at most, and that may be a factor in what’s happening.

It is a peaceful spot off Route 68 in Wallingford. Lots of swans and ducks paddle around with no particular concerns, but it didn’t take long for our cameras to find dead fish including big bass and tiny sunfish.

It was worse just a few days ago. Photos were sent to us by Nick Santillo, who found dozens of dead fish piled up in the reservoir.


Smaller kill in west Texas

With nets in hand, city staff were continuing Monday to remove dead fish from Wadley Barron Park after a pond ‘turnover’ that created a lack of oxygen for the organisms living inside.

Parks & Recreation Manager Scott Swigert said they were alerted Thursday fish were dying and have been working on the issue each day since, having seen a decrease in the rate at which fish were dying by Monday.

"We are currently experiencing what’s known as a pond turnover," Swigert said, explaining why hundreds of fish have died. "It’s a naturally occurring event … It’s happened in the past and we’re confident it will occur again in the future."

When sediments build up at the bottom of a pond, the water eventually will flip, causing the oxygen on the top of the water to mix with the carbon dioxide and other chemicals at the bottom, creating a lack of air.


1000’s of dead fish and a few turtles and gulls on Misery Bay on March 22nd 

Cathy Pedlar and Kathryn Hamilton were walking by Presque Isle State Park’s Misery Bay on Tuesday afternoon when they spotted thousands of dead fish along the north shore.

Pedlar said she’s seen dead fish before, but never like this.

"I haven’t seen this density before," she said.

Park and state officials were notified and a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection official investigated.

"This is a natural fish kill, no cause for alarm," Jim Grazio, a Great Lakes biologist with DEP’s Office of the Great Lakes, said after inspecting the dead fish.

He said 99 percent were gizzard shad and he believed their death was a natural event caused by temperature change.

Grazio said the gizzard shad, a freshwater herring, is notoriously sensitive to cold temperatures and temperature changes.

He also said more than the usual number of the fish were born in 2010 for unknown reasons.


Thousands of Dead fish in Michigan blamed on cold

Michigan officials say thousands of dead fish found in the Lake St. Clair area likely died because of the cold weather.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Environment says Friday that large numbers of gizzard shad probably died because of the lengthy, cold winter. State officials say they’ve collected samples and had them analyzed, and they don’t suspect a fish virus or bacterial disease is to blame.

Thousands of dead gizzard shad were found earlier this year in Lakes Erie and St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River. Shad deaths are typical in the winter.


Winter fish kills on numerous lakes in Iowa

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has received numerous reports of dead fish in lakes and ponds across Iowa as the ice cover disappears for another year. 

These winter fish kills have been reported at Swan Lake (Carroll), Badger Creek Lake (Madison), Clark Lake (Cerro Gordo), Kuhn Wildlife Pond (Cerro Gordo), Pilot Knob Pond (Winnebago), Alice Wyth Lake (Black Hawk), Middle Sabula and Green Island lakes (Jackson), Credit Island Lagoon (Scott), and a storm water retention pond in Guttenberg.


Number of dead whales and dolphins in the Gulf at least 50 times higher

Many more dolphins are dying in the Gulf than are officially counted. New research released today shows that the average number for most species is at least 50 times higher than what’s reported now, a conservative figure according to the authors.


The death toll of animals that perished as a result of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may be 50 times higher than presently believed, according to a new study in the latest issue of Conservation Letters.

Until now, fatality figures have primarily been based on the number of recovered carcasses. Data on this varies depending on the source and the date of the count, but the authors report that as of Nov. 7, 2010, 101 whale, dolphin, and porpoise carcasses had been detected across the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

Past numbers of carcasses reflect just 2 percent of actual animal deaths, according to the study, so the true number of fatalities for cetaceans alone as a result of the spill could be in the thousands.


15-20 dead gulls monthly at San Fran pier - mold to blame

Earlier this month The Bay Citizen published a story about the alarming number of western gulls that are dying near San Francisco’s industrial Pier 94. The article, “Mold Mystery Surrounds SF Bird Deaths”, states a preliminary investigation by the California Department of Fish and Game may have found the cause.

According to the article, “The department found 15 to 20 dead or dying gulls monthly, according to California Fish and Game Warden William O’Brien. It performed autopsies on a number of dead gulls and found that growing inside their lungs was a mold called Aspergillus, which suffocated the birds.”



Record setting turtle strandings in Mississippi in 2011

Gulfport’s Institute for Marine Mammal Studies reports it has collected 38 dead or stranded turtles in Mississippi this year, most in the past few weeks. As is the case with dolphin strandings this year, turtle tissue samples are turned over to the The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which does necropsies and further testing.  

NMFS is investigating the deaths of these turtles and has increased surveillance, according to Blair Mase-Guthrie, a southeast regional stranding coordinator. “We are treating this very seriously,” she said. Possible causes could range from infectious disease, sudden shifts in water temperature, biotoxins such as red tide or the impact from the BP oil that polluted the area. “We’re not ruling out any factor.”

An NMFS spokeswoman in Washington confirmed agency experts are reviewing the data, but cautioned that turtle strandings tend to happen in the spring. NMFS  records showthere have been 13 turtle strandings in Mississippi so far this year, a number that will rise as databases are updated.

Even 13 dead turtles is an unusually high number in March. In the past three years,NMFS reports no turtles were stranded in Mississippi until the beginning of April. The onlyother Gulf state to report a rise in on-shore turtle deaths this year is Texas with 48, more than twice the number counted in 2009—the year before the BP oil blowout. That year, the total number of on-shore turtle deaths in the Gulf shot up to 248, nearly five times the number from the previous year.

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Six porpoises wash up dead on Mass. shores - week of 03/21-27/2011

ix juvenile harbor porpoises have washed up dead on Massachusetts beaches this past week, according to officials at the New England Aquarium.

The most recent one was a 4-foot-long, dark gray harbor porpoise found Saturday morning on Revere Beach. The New England Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Team responded, but the animal was already dead.

Tony LaCasse, spokesman for the New England Aquarium, said this number is “exceptional” for one week but it is not uncommon this time of year for young porpoises to die after being stranded on shore.

“We are seeing a high number but these animals appear to be passing away from what are the normal causes of death,” he said.

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Mass Fish Kill in Australia - 03/09/11

Somehow I missed this story.  Sometimes they just don’t get picked up by many news markets - one of the arguments used against there being a trend actually. :)  

EXPERTS say that record temperatures and low oxygen levels are to blame for dead fish being washed up on riverbanks and beaches across WA.

Dead fish, eels and crayfish have been found on shores - with the coastline of Green Head, some 290km north of Perth, covered in now-rotting carcasses.

Green Head resident Rod Wilson said: “It’s very heartbreaking. I’ve been here for 28 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. To us it’s a local ecological disaster.”

Reports state that in a cleanup operation at Green Head, 20km north of Jurien Bay, more than 15,000 dead fish were collected.

"Our biggest concern is how long is this going to take to right itself," Mr Wilson added.



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Posted at 11:50pm
Tagged mass fish kill dead fish climate change