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California: 70,000 Fish Turn Up Dead In Marina Del Rey

05/20/2014 2 comments

NBC Los Angeles – “Authorities are trying to determine what caused tens of thousands of fish to turn up dead in the waters off Marina del Rey over the weekend.

The first report came in just after 9 p.m. Saturday at the A-Basin in the 13000 block of Tahiti Way, officials said. When Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived, they discovered an estimated 70,000 dead anchovies floating in the water, along with other sea life, including sting rays and angel sharks.

It was not immediately known what caused the fish to die and wash up to the basin. A bait fish expert told NBC4 that Saturday night’s low tide combined with low oxygen levels may have been the cause of the massive die off.

‘Inside the marina here you have the sea walls that make it a confined space, so there’s only a certain amount of oxygen in the water immediate to the fish,’ said bait expert Mike Spears. ‘It was a low tide, which means the water was going out, nothing was coming in from the ocean, so it was just stale water and they just suffocated in it, and everything around them suffocated, too.’

Matthew King of Heal the Bay said the weather may be to blame.” Read more.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths

New Jersey: Tons Of Dead Fish Wash Up Along Miles Of Jersey Shore

05/20/2014 Leave a comment

NBC New York – “Authorities are scrambling to clean up thousands of dead fish washing up on the Jersey Shore before crowds flock to the beaches amid sunny weather this weekend.

Dead fish were first spotted in the Shark River early Monday, and have now washed through an inlet into the ocean and onto beaches. The fish, believed to be moss bunker, are spread for about 3 miles along the shore, from Belmar down to Spring Lake.
Prisoners from the Monmouth County Jail have been brought in to help pick up the fish in Neptune Township, where more than 5 tons have been found dead this week alone.

State environmental officials say there is no indication of disease, and that the fish, which normally produce in large numbers and consume a lot of oxygen, simply overproduced.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty says crews will be patrolling the beaches this weekend to clear any dead fish out of the way of beachgoers.” Source – NBC New York.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths

Kentucky: 500,000 Asian Carp Feared Dead In Massive Fish Kill

04/30/2014 2 comments

By Chad Lampe, WKU Public Radio – “Scientists are investigating a massive fish kill in Western Kentucky. Around half-a-million Asian Carp are reported dead.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says the die-off on the Cumberland River this week occurred just below the Lake Barkley Dam. Only Asian Carp were killed. Aquaculture Specialist Bob Durborow hasn’t seen anything of this magnitude in his 30 years of experience. He’s currently testing specimens.

‘Their eyes looked like they were live their gills looked they were from live fish they were a good specimen to check,’ said Durborow. ‘So, I feel confident that what we find from these fish might give us an indication of what is actually the problem.'” Read more.

Mass Die Offs Of Moose In Minnesota Alarms Scientists

03/06/2014 2 comments

By Brent McDonald, The New York Times – “For moose, this year’s winter-long deep freeze across the Upper Midwest is truly ideal weather. The large, gangly creatures are adapted to deep snow: Their hollow fur insulates them like fiberglass does in a house. And the prolonged cold helps eradicate pests that prey on moose, like ticks and meningeal worm, or brain worm. Yet moose in Minnesota are dying at an alarming rate, and biologists are perplexed as to why.

Mark Keech, right, a research biologist, and Tiffany Wolf, a veterinarian, fitted a moose with a radio collar and took samples as part of a Minnesota study of why the animals die.

In the 1980s, moose numbered about 4,000 in the northwest part of the state; today, there are about 100. In Northeast Minnesota, the population has dropped by half since 2006, to 4,300 from more than 8,800. In 2012, the decline was steep enough — 35 percent — that the state and local Chippewa tribes, which rely on moose meat for subsistence, called off the moose hunt. The mortality rate rebounded slightly this year, but moose continue to die at twice the normal rate to sustain a population. Researchers elsewhere, along the southern edge of moose territory in New Hampshire and Montana, are also beginning to notice declines in the animals’ numbers.

Seth Moore, a wildlife biologist in Grand Portage, theorizes that recent years of warmer, shorter winters and hotter, longer summers have resulted in a twofold problem. The changing climate has stressed out the moose, compromising their immune systems. And warmer temperatures have allowed populations of white-tailed deer, carriers of brain worm — which is fatal to moose — to thrive.

Still, ‘I’m not necessarily convinced that brain worm is the silver bullet that’s killing all of the moose,’ Dr. Moore said.” Read more.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths

Nevada: Officials Baffled After 100,000 Fish Die In Sparks Marina, ‘The Fishery Doesn’t Exist Anymore’

01/15/2014 1 comment

By Scott Sonner, Associated Press – “State wildlife officials are trying to figure out why all the fish have died in a northern Nevada marina where the stocked fishery has flourished since the man-made lake was created nearly 15 years ago.

As many as 100,000 trout, bass and catfish have died over the past month in the Sparks Marina along U.S. Interstate 80 east of Reno, apparently the result of a dramatic, unexplained drop in dissolved oxygen levels, Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said Wednesday.

Scientists say a bitter cold snap could have caused oxygen-poor waters to rise from the old rock quarry’s bottom to the surface, but they don’t understand what sparked the massive die-off.

Fish biologists confirmed low oxygen levels caused the death of an estimated 3,000 fish in one corner of the lake in mid-December but Healy said they thought at the time the event was localized and of limited impact. Since then, they’ve been unable to detect any live fish in the 77-acre lake. Numerous dead fish have been removed from the lake’s shoreline and Healy said it’s likely the rest sank to the bottom.

‘The 100,000 dead fish figure is something that is probably a pretty conservative guess,’ said Healy, who estimates they’ve stocked close to 1 million adult fish in the lake since they started in 1998.

‘We don’t know if any small fish have survived, but for all intents and purposes, the fishery doesn’t exist anymore,’ he told The Associated Press.

The Reno Gazette-Journal first reported scientists determined the problem was much more serious than they realized after a boat survey on Monday found dissolved oxygen levels far too low to support the fish at 11 different sampling locations. Readings from an electronic fish-finder also revealed no fish swimming in the lake’s depths.

Lakes like the marina consist of different layers of water temperatures, with the warmest water on top holding the highest oxygen content, Healy said. He said one theory is that the surface water may have chilled very quickly, sank toward the bottom of the lake and stirred up material on its floor, causing a ‘violent turnover’ that could have sucked up additional oxygen.

‘Everything is a theory right now,’ Healy said.” Read more.

‘Horrible': 100,000 Bats Fall Dead From The Sky In Australia, Trees And Earth Littered With Dead Creatures

01/08/2014 Leave a comment

By Jonathan Pearlman, The Telegraph – “About 100,000 bats have fallen from the sky and died during a heatwave in Australia that has left the trees and earth littered with dead creatures.

In scenes likened to ‘an Alfred Hitchock thought bubble’, a heatwave across the north-east state of Queensland in recent days caused mass deaths of flying foxes from an estimated 25 colonies.

‘It’s a horrible, cruel way to die,’ a conservation worker, Louise Saunders, told The Courier Mail.

‘Anything over 43 degrees [Celsius, 109F] and they just fall. We’re just picking up those that are just not coping and are humanely euthanising what we can.’

Health experts have warned residents not to touch the dead creatures amid concerns about the spread of virus or bites and scratches from bats that may still be alive. At least 16 people have been are receiving antiviral treatment after coming into close contact with a bat.

‘If you find a bat it is very important not to touch it because of the risk of infection with Australian bat lyssavirus,’ the state’s chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, told APN.

‘Some bats may appear dead but they are not and when people have attempted to remove them they have been bitten or scratched. Bats also have a claw on their wings which is a frequent cause of injury.’

The stench from the rotting carcasses has begun to disturb residents of Brisbane and large towns.” Read more.

‘They’re Dead Everywhere': Catastrophic Storm Kills As Many As 100,000 Cows In South Dakota

10/11/2013 1 comment

Fox News – “Ranchers in South Dakota fear they may lose everything after a freak storm dumped up four feet of snow in parts of the state last week, killing as many as 100,000 cattle.

Matt Kammerer, a 45-year-old rancher whose family has operated in South Dakota’s Meade County since 1882, told FoxNews.com that he lost 60 cattle in the storm, or one-third of his entire herd.

‘You’re talking about $120,000 of assets that are just gone,’ Kammerer said Friday by phone. ‘And we still owe the banks, too. It’s like driving a brand-new pickup off a cliff and still having to make payments.’

Kammerer painted a gruesome scene north of Rapid City, where a record 23 inches of snow fell.

‘It’s just unreal,’ he said. ‘There are cattle that are 8 or 9 miles away from the pasture they were in, just lying dead. And within that whole stretch, it’s just dead cow after dead cow, where they’ve gotten caught in dams, streams, fences, you name it. They’re dead everywhere.’

Carcasses of mature cows as well as calves were floating downstream local waterways in droves, Kammerer said, stoking fears of a potential outbreak of disease.

‘If you don’t get those picked up and buried, you’re looking at the possibility of disease or possibly contamination,’ he said. ‘You’ve got to get them all picked up.’

Most ranchers in the state lost anywhere between 50 to 75 percent of their herds, according to Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, which represents 1,500 ranching operations.

‘We’re certainly looking at tens of thousands if not pushing 100,000 at this point,’ she said of the dead livestock.

Aside from the economic losses, which will be severe once finally tallied, the unprecedented storm has left an ‘incredible emotional burden’ on the state’s ranchers, Silvia said.” Read more.

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