Home > Mass Animal Deaths, Natural Disasters > Nevada: Officials Baffled After 100,000 Fish Die In Sparks Marina, ‘The Fishery Doesn’t Exist Anymore’

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


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.

  1. 01/15/2014 at 11:36 PM

    its a sign of the end times

    Like

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